Women's Winter Backcountry Touring

Jackson, Wyoming

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Breathe in cold air as you ski down fresh snow. Feel your muscles burn as you top a ridge showing you a view of the next snow-covered valley. Enjoy the quiet of a winter night after a good, hard day of work. On this course, you’ll join a group of self-identified women to go skiing or splitboarding in the backcountry. Enter the world of winter in the mountains. You’ll learn about winter camping, touring in the backcountry, and what it feels like to ski down untracked powder on your own mountain. If you are new to skiing or snowboarding, we recommend taking a few lessons ahead of time to get the most out of your course. You will spend the first few days of your course at NOLS Teton Valley reviewing gear, honing your skills at Grand Targhee Ski Resort in lessons with professional ski instructors, and learning the basics of avalanche assessment. Then, you will head into the backcountry along the western flanks of the Tetons. Famous for their craggy peaks and dramatic vertical rise, the Tetons are also known for dependable snow and excellent riding.  While in the backcountry, you will spend the first two nights sleeping in a yurt (wood and canvas shelters complete with a wood-burning stove and propane cook-tops) and six more nights in snug show shelters you will learn to build yourself. During the day, you will learn more about avalanche assessment, skiing or snowboarding on fresh powder, and winter ecology. If weather and snow conditions permit, you may also climb a peak. By the end of this course, you’ll have the touring skills and leadership experience to pursue winter touring and camping expeditions for years to come.


Duration: 12 Days
Starts in: Driggs, Idaho
Ends in: Jackson, Wyoming
Group Size: 8-14
Difficulty: 4/5

Operated by:


The leader in wilderness education since 1965. Learn more at www.nols.edu.

Additional Information

NOLS Teton Valley:

Nestled on the Idaho side of the Tetons, and near Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks, our campus is your gateway to some of the best skiing, backpacking, and paddling in the lower 48. NOLS Teton Valley operates year-round and depending on the season, you might hike along the Continental Divide, paddle whitewater rapids, or backcountry ski in the snow-covered Rockies. In the summer and early fall, backpacking courses travel through the meadows of wildflowers in the mountains of western Wyoming, southern Montana, and eastern Idaho. During the warmer months, you can paddle the Salmon River through one of the West’s largest wilderness areas—the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness—and develop your whitewater skills. When the snow starts to fall, you can take a backcountry ski or snowboarding course, skiing untouched powder and learning the art of winter camping. Before you set off into the backcountry, you’ll dive into avalanche education, snow science—and in some cases, ski lessons at a local resort. Leaving the crowds and lifts behind, you’ll enjoy the quiet, amazing snow, and sense of accomplishment from hard work well done. No matter what time of year you arrive, you can look forward to an unforgettable adventure in the beautiful, rugged landscapes of the West.

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