SPRING SKI MOUNTAINEERING CAMP
V: Another program you offer is the Spring Ski Mountaineering Camp. Tell us a little bit more about this program.
S: I’m super passionate about our Spring Ski Mountaineering Camp. It’s definitely the most advanced program we offer. It’s the only program that we offer that is group designed (rather than private). So this camp is 4-days, 3-nights where we snowmobile into the heart of the Uintas- the high Uinta Mountains on the border of the wilderness.
S: We set up a base camp, not quite as big as Everest base camp, but you get the picture. The idea is to team up with our AMGA and IFMGA team member guides and we run through ski mountaineering techniques and skills. We talk about how to evaluate snow for steep skiing objectives, as well as avalanche and mountain hazards that pertain to spring weather and snowpack events. And then we get to look around and pick off some pretty big and exciting objectives on the prominent peaks in the area. It’s all pretty dynamic based on what the participants show up with, and also what the weather gives us so it’s super exciting and super cool!
W: And the most important thing is we have a chef come out! So the food is always insanely good!
S: Yeah the owner and executive chef of Twisted Fern in Park City comes out and cooks for us.
W: You come back to hot soup, appetizers, and amazing food. You’re sleeping in a tent but then you have professional food.
S: For the Spring Ski Mountaineering Camp, we have two groups: intermediate and advanced. So we do ask that participants meet a criteria list of 20 days in the backcountry, comfortable skiing slopes of 40 degrees, and a fitness level of 3,000 vertical feet in a day for the intermediate group.
S: For the advanced group, you actually fill out a small log of your past history and apply for the program. We try to make it so the lowest-common denominator and the highest-end user are about as equal as we can get. And we’re not looking at a big camp… This isn’t 20 people we’re talking about. We max out at 12 people and we have 4 guides to those 12 people. So two instructors for the immediate group and two instructors for the advanced group.
W: Keeping our ratios good while still having fun and learning lots.
S: The idea is, we can take the intermediate group and break them up into two groups of three. This way, participants are learning more specific skills to what their interest levels are. Same thing goes for the advanced group.
W: We love to do this camp!
S: Yeah, because it’s exploratory! It’s the ultimate exploration of the area and high-reward guiding for sure; watching people exceed their own expectations, learning technical hard skills, getting pushed. Because being in exposed terrain is, exposing!
Lean more about the Spring Ski Mountaineering Camp here.