Scheduled Course - Women's Specific Backcountry Touring

Wasatch Mavens - Women's Backcountry Series

Tired of a one-off class? Tour 56+ hours alongside professionals and mountain mavens for a fun, unique, season that will take you above and beyond your winter goals in great company.

Spend this winter season with renowned professional female guides and athletes during this women's specific backcountry series and gain the confidence, skills and knowledge to become a connoisseur of the backcountry!

AMGA Guides Anna Keeling, Winslow Passey, Emilie Drinkwater, plus more will be your mountain mentors and companions throughout the season. They are personable, relatable backcountry experts and are committed to meet each individual at their current backcountry level and help them progress from there.

What is Wasatch Mavens?

The Wasatch Mavens is a women's backcountry ski & snowboard touring program led by professional female guides that inspires and motivates women skiers and riders in the community to get outside of the confines of the resort. Explore boundless terrain, gain new perspectives, learn from experience and bond with like-minded individuals.

Who should join the Mavens?

Women who:

  • Love to ski and ride and are prone to adventure
  • Want to get out of the confines of the resort
  • Love solitude in the mountains
  • Seeking untracked snow
  • Want to go downhill but also stay fit
  • Connect with new partners
  • Explore the beauty and meditative value of skiing uphill
  • Would like to get a taste for ski mountaineering

Backcountry terrain offers challenges that are not found in the resorts. In the backcountry, unlike the resort, runs are not designed by man to ease the downhill experience by creating trails, removing obstacles, and maintaining a more consistent snow pack. Our goal is for participants to get the most out of this winter-long series, therefore, it is valuable that you be in the right group. We are offering an intermediate and advanced group, groups will work together some days and separate other days for certain objectives.

Intermediate - Be capable and willing to make turns in challenging, variable, ungroomed snow on 30-degree slopes with trees. Be able to ski groomed black runs without falling.

Advanced - Experienced in powder skiing. Be able to control your speed on steep terrain and feel comfortable skiing off-piste black runs with minimal falls. Need to be able to manage ungroomed, challenging, variable conditions in tight trees.

Curriculum

Day #1: Meet & Greet

Saturday, January 11, 2020

  • Ski with the guides and meet the crew!
  • Talk with Senior Mavens and discover how to get the most out of this Series
  • Dial in your backcountry setup from cutting your skins, to setting your pole length to helmets and packs
  • Review what to bring and what not to bring in your pack
  • Learn how to stay warm while not overheating on the trail
  • Discuss all of the available avalanche tools (beacon types, avalung vs. airbag, probes, shovels...)
  • Discover how guides make going uphill fun and rewarding and not difficult!
  • Implement beacon function and distance checks

Day #2: Avalanche Skills

Saturday, January 25, 2020

  • Find and interpret local mountain weather forecast and avalanche advisory information
  • Learn to identify avalanche terrain
  • Read and determine islands of safety and terrain traps
  • Practice proper route setting
  • Apply "on-the-go" tests
  • Recognize signs of instability
  • Perform beacon searches and rescue scenarios

Day #3: Systems & Methods

Saturday, February 8, 2020

  • In-house/class portion
    • Examine weather forecasts and local advisory
    • Learn how to use a compass
    • Practice reading and using maps
    • Plan tours using maps, apps, timelines, and safety margins
    • Utilize apps and resources to optimize your trip
    • Methodize your trip planning
    • Learn how to be a leader or great backcountry companion
  • Field Portion
    • Practice rest step, pressure breathing, and setting pace
    • Learn efficient skinning techniques + tips and tricks for touring
    • Uphill kick turns
    • Proper balance with your weight on skins
    • Dial-in skin to ski/board transitions and vice versa
    • Grasp breaking trail and safe route setting

Day #4: Powder Skiing

Saturday, February 22, 2020

  • Practice proper techniques for descending
  • Individual coaching for riding in variable snow
  • Learn to read snow surface to find soft turns
  • Steering and unweighting for turning in deep snow
  • Dial downhill kickturns
  • How to find the best snow using aspects, timing, and terrain selection

Day #5: Plan & Lead the Day's Tour -- Plan A, B & C; Guides Follow

Saturday, March 7, 2020

  • Participants will coordinate with partner Mavens to pre-plan the Saturday tour (plan A, B, & C) using what they've learned throughout the series and what they deem their day's desires are
  • Participants should take into account what they've gained from systems & methods, tour planning, avalanche and weather forecast, day's desires and rider ability to create and lead the guides for the day
  • Guides will question and critique throughout the tour
  • Participants should share leadership responsibilities for the day

Day #6: Steep Terrain + Mountaineering Basics *Potential use of crampons and ice ax as conditions are dependent.

Saturday, March 21, 2020

  • Learn to manage and ski steep terrain
  • Practice tight turns – learn to take your time on the downhill and enjoy the powder!
  • Get a taste of mountaineering skills
  • Snow travel using crampons
  • Ice axe 101 (self arrests etc.)
  • Create a snow anchor and rappel into skiable terrain

Day #7: Spring Skiing 101 -- Ski Novel Lines (long day)

Saturday, April 4, 2020 -- Long day (8-12 hrs)

  • Put it all together with a long day skiing classic, far-reaching descents inside or possibly outside the Central Wasatch!

*Guides plan to cover the skills and objectives listed above in detail and will assign them the day prior depending on weather and conditions; we do not want to waste a perfectly good powder day on rescue and beacon drills.

How to Register:

Wasatch Mavens Series

Lone Peak

Photo by Andrew Burr

Wasatch Mavens Series

Tour Planning

Wasatch Mavens Series

Wolverine Cirque

Photo by Tyson Bradley

Wasatch Mavens Series

Pfeifferhorn

Photo by Tyson Bradley

Course Details

Schedule


Sat, January 11, 2020
Meet & Greet

Sat, January 2, 20205
Avalanche Skills

Sat, February 8, 2020
Systems & Methods

Sat, February 22, 2020
Powder Skiing

Sat, March 7, 2020
Plan & Lead the Day's Tour

Sat, March 21, 2020
Steep Terrain + Mountaineering Basics

Sat, April 4, 2020
Spring Skiing 101

Duration

7 Full-Day Saturday sessions

Location

Salt Lake City, Utah

Fee

Early Bird: $899 plus tax (before Dec 1st)

After Dec 1st: $999 plus tax

*UMA requires a 50% deposit at booking, the remainder will be charged 1 week prior to the first outing (Jan 11).

UMA reserves the right to cancel or shorten the series if fewer than 2 participants register.

Prerequisite

Intermediate - Be capable and willing to make turns in challenging, variable, ungroomed snow on 30-degree slopes with trees. Be able to ski groomed black runs without falling.

Advanced - Experienced in powder skiing. Be able to control your speed on steep terrain and feel comfortable skiing off-piste black runs with minimal falls. Need to be able to manage ungroomed, challenging, variable conditions in tight trees.

*Please give an honest assessment of your skill to be safe and have a good time. The goal will certainly be soft snow and powder skiing but low altitude exits at the end of the day can be crusty with tight trees.

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Utah Mountain Adventures

P.O. Box 521809

Salt Lake City, Utah 84152-1809

Phone: (801) 550 3986

Fax: (801) 486 8505

Email: uma@utahmountainadventures.com

Utah Mountain Adventures | Patagonia Utah Mountain Adventures | Forest Service Backcountry Skiing Utah, by Tyson Bradley