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Trip

Colorado

Ski & Snowboard

Trip Intro to Backcountry Hut Trips
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Questions? Let us help! Call us at 1-866-386-1590
Get immersed and learn backcountry fundamentals on this three-day hut trip.

Take your backcountry education to the next level with a two-night adventure to one of Colorado’s enchanting backcountry huts! Join our partners at Colorado Adventure Guides on this 3-day course to learn the ins and outs of backcountry travel in the winter and how to properly execute a winter hut trip. Over the span of this course you will be taught the basics of traveling into the winter backcountry via skis or splitboard and will also spend time learning the proper etiquette to using a backcountry hut. Students and instructors will work together to execute meal plans, gather water, keep the fire going, etc. 
 
What you’ll learn:
 
•    Gear introduction & overview
•    Intro to trip planning and terrain selection
•    Intro on how to properly execute a winter backcountry hut trip
•    Use of beacons, shovels, and probes
•    Intro to risk management in the backcountry
•    Proper and efficient transitions
•    Use of uphill climbing skins
•    Track setting and kick turns
•    Intro to Avalanche Awareness

Book your spot, or book the entire hut for a private group course - up to 6 people.


Select Your Trip

Itinerary
Itinerary
Note: Choice of location and itin­er­ary are sub­ject to change due to weath­er, unsafe route con­di­tions, or oth­er rea­sons beyond our con­trol and in the guide’s best judgment.
  • 1
    Day number 1
    Day 1:
    We will spend the morning gathering our gear before transitioning to the field where we will then travel to the cabin. The afternoon will be spent utilizing field and hut instruction.
  • 2
    Day number 2
    Day 2:
    Two full days of classroom and field instruction where you will practice to better hone your winter backcountry skills. We turn the hut into a classroom and cover trip planning, decision making, route-finding techniques, and more. Field instruction takes place right out the door of the hut!
  • 3
    Day number 3
    Day 3:
    Repeat! Today we continue on with classroom instruction in our hut, followed by our final round of field instruction. Pack up, say goodbye to new friends, and start planning your next tour!
Trip Package Includes
  • 2 nights of hut lodging
  • CAG professional ski or splitboard guide (6:1 maximum guide to student ratio)
  • Transportation from designated meeting place to the Trailhead 
  • Use of Ortovox avalanche safety gear (beacon, shovel, probe, pack)  
  • Summit Huts Association Single Use Membership if in a SMA Hut
Trip Package Does Not Include
  • Air­fare
  • Trans­porta­tion to and from designated meeting place
  • Food
  • Clothing and gear (see FAQ for recommendations)
  • Guide gra­tu­ities
  • Travel insurance (we recommend World Nomads)

Questions? Call or email us!
Area Information

Summit County and Beyond


Your guides will choose your course destination from one of the following three destinations, based on the best, most current information, conditions, and experience level among the group. First, the North London Mill Project (NoLo), Mosquito Pass, Park County, which provides unique access to hundreds of acres to fantastic backcountry skiing. Second, Dillon Area, Summit County -- the heart of CAG’s operation with access to thousands of acres of ridgelines, slopes and valleys to suit all levels of experience. Third, Front Range Zone, Clear Creek County offers options extending from the high alpine of Guanella and Loveland Passes, to the hidden trails of Butler Gulch, and secret stashes along the I-70 Corridor (but far from the crowds).
 
Trip Planning

Trip Planning

Below is a list of required and recommended equipment for your adventure. Dressing properly and having the correct equipment will help Colorado Adventure Guides provide a safer and more fun experience for your group. Though we cannot control the weather, we can make sure that you are prepared for whatever conditions we encounter in this mountain environment. Remember, the weather can change quickly and drastically.

Our guides recommend wearing technical clothing on all higher level hikes and winter activities, but is never a bad idea regardless of which activity you participate in. Technical clothing (polypro, merino wool, etc) is designed to help regulate body temperature and keep perspiration off of the skin. Not only is it safer, it dries faster, and is much more comfortable during exercise. When possible, please try to avoid wearing cotton like hoodies, denim jeans, cotton socks, etc. 

Colorado Adventure Guides strives to be as environmentally conscious as possible. We strongly urge you to bring your own hydration system or Nalgene bottles and fill them before heading to the trailhead. This reduces plastic pollution and the chance of accidentally leaving litter behind. Plus, our water is fresh and delicious up here in Summit County!

Required Equipment
Recommended Clothing
FAQ
FAQ
  • Can you tell me more about the hut I’ll be staying in?
    CAG has partnered with the Summit Huts Association as well as other private hut properties to offer backcountry ski/splitboard and hut trip education! Our partners include Timberline Lodge at Duck Lake Ski Resort - Guanella Pass, Park County, Colorado. Duck Lake is located on Guanella Pass at 11,000 feet in the Front Range of Colorado. The original lodge and cabins, known as “Alpendorf on the Lake” served as the family get away for the Coors family. From 1955 until 1957, when the lodge burned down, Duck Lake operated as a small ski area with one chair lift moving skiers up approximately 500 feet to enjoy turns down to the cabins. While the Lift has stopped the turns have not and we are now operating two rustic cabins that host a variety of backcountry adventures. Francie’s Cabin – Summit Hut Association, Summit County, Colorado As the official guide partner of the Summit Huts Association (SMA), with terrain permitting from the US Forest Service, we provide guided trip and educational classes at all of the SMA Huts. New for this year we are providing packaged Intro to Huts and AIARE Level 1 courses in Francie’s & Sisters Cabins. These large modern huts are located in the heart of Summit County and are easily accessed on non-motorized trails via skis or splitboard. These huts provide semi-private sleeping rooms and are perfect for beginner and experienced backcountry travelers.
  • I need local accommodations before or after this trip. Do you have recommendations?
    Joining CAG for a Breck based adventure? Elevate your time in the mountains this winter with 20% off lodging at Gravity Haus Breckenridge by using promo code EVO at time of booking. Unlimited access to our Max Air super trampoline, hot tubs, fitness, and events coupled with discounted backcountry adventures, food & beverage & more! Located at the Base of Peak 9, Breck Haus is your slope side base camp for all things adventure.
  • What COVID-19 policies do you have in place?
    Colorado Adventure Guides has a detailed COVID-19 Operations Plan which will be shared prior to the trip. All participants must fill out a pre-trip COVID-19 questionnaire/agreement. Classroom lectures will be held via Zoom instead of in person (exceptions may apply for private groups) . In the field, a face covering must be worn at times when social distancing cannot be maintained. All group activities will observe public health codes applicable to the area of operations. Current COVID-19 guidelines can be viewed here https://www.coloradoadventureguides.com/keeping-up-with-covid/
  • What if I would like to book a private group course?
    For those who would like to select all the members of their party and take over an entire hut, you may book a private group course. This option can be booked for a maximum of 6 people and a total cost of $1800. Course dates can be requested between February 1 and March 31, subject to availability. If you are interested, please let us know!
  • Do I need any prior training to participate in this course?
    No prior backcountry experience is required, but participants should have experience on their touring setup prior to taking this course.
  • How physically fit do I need to be for this course?
    Colorado Adventure Guides is committed to the safety of their guests. Their guides are trained to recognize potentially hazardous situations in the backcountry; they plan and operate accordingly. Prior to your departure you will be asked to complete a brief health history. The failure to disclose pertinent information on the health history form could result in serious harm, even death, to the signing participant, other guests and/or the guide. All information submitted is completely confidential; it is for the guide’s use and would only be shared in the event of an emergency with medical and/or rescue personnel directly caring for the guest. This can be a physically demanding course, and your ability to enjoy the adventure depends on your health and fitness, thus it’s recommended that you are in good physical condition.
  • Are rentals available?
    Yes, rental gear is available and can be rented directly through the evo Denver store for 10% off. You may also rent avalanche safety gear directly through CAG.
  • When and how do I meet up with the group?
    For guided adventures your guide will contact you directly at least 48 hours prior to trip date to discuss details of meeting time and location.
  • What is the maximum number of guests on the trip?
    Colorado Adventure Guides guest to guide ratio is 6:1 on educational courses. All groups of 6 or more are split into smaller groups to maintain the guest to guide ratio and adhere to COVID group size protocols. Maximum guest totals would be 18 for Francie's Cabin and 12 for Duck Lake Cabin
  • Is there a minimum age required for this trip?
    We will accept par­tic­i­pants 14 years or old­er, if they are accom­pa­nied by a legal guardian. You must be 18 years or old­er to attend a trip on your own.
  • What if I need to change the dates of my trip?
    Rescheduling will be honored 14 days prior to any trip start date. An administrative fee of 10% will be assessed for all rescheduling. This allows us the time to contact those who have been put on the wait-list.
  • What if I need to cancel?
    evo will refer to the Colorado Adventure Guides cancellation policy. If you need to can­cel your course, 14 days advance notice of cancellation is required. This allows CAG the time to contact those who have been put on the waitlist. If you need to cancel within the two week period, and CAG is able to fill your spot, you will receive a refund less a $50 administrative fee. If your spot cannot be filled, you will be charged the full amount. Notice of cancellation more than 14 days in advance will receive a full refund less a 10% administrative fee.
Testimonials
The Intro to Splitboarding course with Justin Ibarra was tailored to my needs as a new splitboarder. I learned new techniques and knowledge that I look forward to using when I get my Avy 1 certification this season. I highly recommend this course to anyone who's new to the backcountry.
Jill
Trip Guest
The whole Colorado Adventure Guides crew was knowledgeable, professional, and fun. I’m sitting at home studying the material and checking out all the great resources they shared. Excited to keep the education going! Thanks for a great experience!
Ruthie
Trip Guest
Anne and Justin were extremely informative and taught in a way that was easy to learn and applied it to real life scenarios.
Andrew
Trip Guest

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