Beginner Backcountry Skiing & Boarding

Experience an exciting winter activity with Beginner Backcountry Skiing  with Apex.


  • Available daily


6-7 hours


  • Vail, CO (Meadow Mountain, Sprattle Creek)
  • Leadville, CO (Chalk Creek)
  • San Juan Range


  • Per person, per day, per guide. Max ratio 1:5.
  • $166 (5p)
  • $172 (4)
  • $194 (3)
  • $235 (2)
  • $470 (1)
  • Call 970-949-9111 for Group Pricing & Availability


All Abilities

Experience Level

Beginner to Intermediate

Venture beyond the lift lines and crowded resorts, and ski your own mountain! This private introduction to Vail backcountry skiing is a great way to jump start your love for the solitude and pristine ski and split board lines found in the Colorado backcountry.

Breathe cool Colorado mountain air and enjoy the views as we guide you into the alpine, at a pace that is enjoyable for you. Alpine forests and open slopes lay waiting for your first tracks through untouched Vail, Colorado backcountry powder.

Beginner backcountry skiing is available to skiers and boarders of all ability levels, including first time skiers and snowboarders. Slopes for skiing and snowboarding range from low angle beginner to intermediate as appropriate, with an emphasis placed on ease of travel, technique overview and enjoying the day.

Back country touring options:

Telemark Skiing – This free-heeled style of backcountry skiing is the origin of skiing as we know it today. Its appeal includes a seamless transition between touring and descent, as well as a deeper powder turn; more of a natural, flowing style. Telemarking requires more strength and control than modern downhill skiing, and is great for those looking for a new challenge on snow.

Alpine Touring Skiing – Similar to downhill skis, these AT skis allow you to release your heel for touring and lock it down for making turns. The boots are shorter and softer than modern downhill boots, allowing for more movement and comfort in touring and descent. If you are a seasoned downhill skier, this is a great option for familiarity when stepping into backcountry terrain.

Split boarding – A manufactured or custom made snowboard that splits into touring skis for uphill travel and rejoins back into a snowboard for the ride down. This revolution has made the backcountry much more accessible to those that snowboard.

Course topics may include:

  • Introduction to equipment and its use.
  • Skinning (or ascension) technique.
  • Efficient travel techniques.
  • Backcountry skiing and snowboarding instruction.

Choose a private day tour, select one of our group beginner backcountry skiing courses, or try an overnight tour to one of the remote Vail, Colorado area backcountry huts. No matter the trip, our focus is on creating an unforgettable day, developing your technique, and taking your skills to the next level.

Apex has Vail, Colorado backcountry skiing itineraries available to clients of all ages, abilities and fitness levels. We welcome individuals, groups, families and friends.

Advanced reservations are recommended, not required. Some personal items provided by participant(s); see the gear list tab above.

Ready to sign up? Register at the Book It tab above.  You may also call (970) 949-9111 or use our contact page.

What to bring:

  • Beacon/probe/shovel (rental available)
  • *No cotton – cotton does not wick moisture or insulate when wet.
  • Synthetic or wool long underwear bottom (thin)
  • Synthetic or wool long sleeve top (medium)
  • Mid layer top and bottom
  • Synthetic or wool socks
  • Winter jacket
  • Insulated “Puffy” Jacket
  • Snow pants
  • Warm gloves or mittens
  • Hat and neck gaiter or balaclava
  • Goggles or sunglasses
  • Small day pack
  • Water bottle
  • Food
  • Extra wool or synthetic socks

You may use the following means of backcountry travel:

  • Alpine Touring Skis, boots poles, and skins
  • Telemark Skis, boots poles, and skins
  • Split board, boots, poles, and skins

You may also want to consider:

  • Hand warmers
  • Hot liquid
  • Gaiters
  • Liner socks
  • Adjustable Poles
  • Small day pack
  • Extra gloves
  • Lip balm
  • Sunscreen
  • Water bottle insulator
  • Camera

Participant Forms:

If you wish to complete your participant forms in advance, download and print out the pdf below. Complete both pages for each participant, and give to your guide at the beginning of your trip.

Participant forms

Click the button below to view our terms, conditions and cancellation policy.