Building on the backcountry experience provided by its snowcat skiing program, Homewood Mountain Resort, CA, is expanding learning opportunities for those who want to explore the backcountry. The resort will offer a series of workshops this winter that ranges from foundational courses for those who have never tried backcountry skiing or snowboarding before to avalanche safety courses and sessions for experienced backcountry enthusiasts interested in augmenting their skills. These courses are in partnership with NASTC and the U.S. Forest Service.
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“As more and more people venture into the uncontrolled, unpatrolled backcountry, we recognize there is an increased need for educational opportunities so they can be prepared to make good decisions and know how to evaluate both the snowpack and terrain. The new courses we’ve introduced are a natural extension of our Snowcat Adventure offering and a next step for advanced skiers and riders who intend to spend time exploring the backcountry.”
– Kevin Mitchell, general manager of Homewood Mountain Resort
New courses Homewood will offer this winter include:
Introduction to Backcountry Skiing/Riding – Entry Level
Entry-level introduction courses are perfect for experienced resort skiers/riders looking for their next snow adventure. This one-day course was designed for those who want to gain experience, develop their skills, and better understand backcountry terrain. It is not an AIARE Level 1 course but will help prepare for it.
This introductory course features a day of touring in terrain beyond the standard lift-served slopes at Homewood with an experienced guide, offering the best way to get acquainted with backcountry touring. Participants must be comfortable in advanced resort terrain and provide all of their own equipment, including skis/split board, skins, beacon, probe, and shovel. The cost to participate is $499 per group, a limit of five people per group. Courses are offered weather and conditions permitting and can be booked anytime during the season with 48 hours reservation.
Private Backcountry Touring Workshop – All Levels
Designed to assist participants in learning about route selection, kick-turn techniques, and navigating avalanche terrain, the specific content covered in this workshop can be tailored to the group’s interest.
This course requires participants to have the ability to ski or ride in advanced resort terrain and provide their own equipment, including skis/split board, skins, beacon, probe, and shovel. The cost to participate is $799 per group, a limit of five people per group. Courses are offered weather and conditions permitting and can be booked anytime during the season with 48 hours reservation.
Learn more and book by visiting https://www.skihomewood.com/backcountry-workshops/.
AIARE Level 1 and Level 2 Avalanche Courses
In collaboration with Truckee-based North American Ski Training Center (NASTC), Homewood will offer an AIARE Level 1 Avalanche Course March 1-3 and an AIARE Level 2 Avalanche Course March 7-9. The AIARE Level 1 course is a 3-day intensive seminar covering avalanche formation, observational techniques for snowpack, the ability to use an avalanche transceiver/probe, safe travel methods in avalanche terrain, and how to interpret the avalanche bulletin, companion rescue protocols, and decision-making fundamentals.
The AIARE Level 2 builds on the introductory avalanche hazard management model introduced in the AIARE Level 1 and adds to it the evaluation of critical hazard assessment factors. Students will describe and discuss the weather, snowpack, and avalanche processes and identify how they relate to observations and travel within avalanche terrain.
Course participation is available on a first-come, first-served basis and must be reserved in advance. The cost to participate is $575 per person for the Level 1 course and $595 per person for the Level 2.
Learn more by visiting https://www.skihomewood.com/backcountry-workshops/. Learn more about NASTC at https://www.skinastc.com/.
Guided Snowcat Tours
Homewood Mountain Resort offers guided snowcat tours that provide over 750 acres of backcountry terrain beyond the resort’s boundary. All-day packages offer groups of up to seven skiers/riders from the same household a guided experience with terrain options that include perfectly-spaced tree runs to steeps, powder bowls, and intermediate-level glades. Tours can be tailored to a variety of skill levels, from advanced/expert to intermediate. The all-day, guided group snowcat adventure is $3,000 with a resort lift ticket, mountaintop lunch, and snow safety equipment rental included.
Learn more about Homewood Mountain Resort and planned winter operations at https://www.skihomewood.com/2020-21-what-to-expect-this-winter/.