Colorado is having a record year for snowfall – Vail’s snowpack is 137% above the yearly average. With plenty of snow to feed the icefalls, the ice is in equally impressive condition. In such a banner year we hope you join us to hit the Colorado backcountry slopes on skis, snowboard and snowshoes, or to get out for some awesome ice climbing!

As well, as outdoor enthusiasts you should take caution in preparing for your own back country and side country travel. Courses in avalanche education, winter survival and mountaineering skills, and wilderness medicine help prepare you if something doesn’t go as planned when you’re in the backcountry.

Our 2011 winter season is well under way and many of our Vail, Colorado –based season outings still have space available. You can find more info on these trips and courses in our new events list and events calendar. Take your pick of ice climbing, backcountry skiing and hut trips, mountaineering, avalanche education, wilderness medicine and survival skills.

As always, all of our trips are also offered privately on a daily basis.

Avalanche Education courses:

Colorado’s snowpack is full of variability and thus, inherently unstable. As more and more people venture deeper into the backcountry to find new powder runs, they must go with a heightened awareness or face potentially higher consequences. Avalanche courses combined with the proper safety equipment are an excellent way to manage that risk.

Apex is offering a 3 day hut trip on 2/25/11 (7am) – 2/27/11(5pm). The trip includes AAA (American Avalanche Association) compliant avalanche fundamentals curriculum with 24 hours of instruction, 16 of those will be field hours. Check out our Backcountry Hut Trip page for more information.

There is still space in the AIARE level 1 avalanche course on 2/11/11 (8am) – 2/13/11 (5pm). All Apex’s AIARE courses are full besides this one so check our AIARE level 1 page for more information.

Avalanche courses are available on a private daily basis also.

Vail, Colorado’s Beaver Creek Ski Patrol is offering their last free 2 hour introduction to avalanche safety class on February 3rd at the Edwards Ambulance District from 7-9 pm. Apex will be present at this event and we encourage all who are interested in increasing their risk management in the backcountry to attend this free class. Space is limited contact the Beaver Creek Ski Patrol for more information: 970-754-6610

Ice Climbing trips and courses:

Colorado’s ice has been growing at a record rate with warm days and cool nights. Our beginner ice climbing courses are scheduled for 1/31, 2/14, and 2/28. Our intermediate ice climbing courses are scheduled for 2/8, 2/22, 3/8, and 3/22. We can also arrange a private course at your convenience.

We also offer the following ice climbing courses and trips daily: group ice climbing, Vail Valley ice climbing, Breckenridge ice climbing, rappelling, leading ice 101, anchor building and gear placement for ice.

Indoor climbing at a simulated indoor rock facility is offered daily also.

Backcountry Skiing trips and courses:

With lots of fresh snow in the Colorado backcountry we hope you’ll come polish your turns in the backcountry with us. Our beginner backcountry skiing courses are scheduled for 2/2, 2/16, and 3/2. We can also arrange a private course at your convenience.

We also offer the following backcountry skiing courses and trips daily: intermediate backcountry skiing, Vail Valley backcountry skiing, ski mountaineering, and backcountry hut trips.

Mountaineering trips and courses:

Develop travel techniques to climb in your local backcountry or train for a trip to summit the world. Our mountaineering 101 courses are scheduled for 2/7, 2/21, 3/14, and 3/28. We can also arrange a private course at your convenience.

Wilderness Medicine courses:

Do you know what to do if something goes wrong? Does your partner or buddy know? Don’t wait to find out – wilderness medicine courses offer skills training in preparation for responding to an accident, stabilizing a patient in the backcountry, and evacuating to proper care.

Colorado Wilderness First Responder courses are scheduled for 4/10-17 and 5/22-29. If you have a certification and are looking to update, WFR recertification courses will take place on 4/9-10 and 5/21-22. Private courses are available for larger groups at your request.