The Ultimate Guide To Backcountry Ski Mountaineering

Skills for a long and rewarding career skiing in the backcountry

Want To Ski Deep Into The Backcountry?

  • Untracked waist deep powder can be yours.
  • Doing it safely as possible takes training and dedication to knowing the knowables.
  • Desire to become a super competent backcountry skier.

If Yes, Then This Course Is Built For You:

  • Steep skiing movement, snow rock and ice anchors, gear and more.
  • Move faster and more confidently through tricky terrain.
  • Equip your brain with how to go bigger this winter, and return with a smile on your face.
  • Mark Smiley's favorite MTN┬áSense course

126 high quality video lessons

Broken up into bite-sized engaging videos that sink deep in your brain.

Forever Access

No subscriptions. No time limits. Reference this course forever.

Join 1200+ students

Lots of happy skiers and splitboarders have completed this course.

What sets this course apart?

  • Get educated on your schedule.
  • Access future updates for free.
  • Ask direct questions to Mark Smiley throughout.
  • Safe learning environment. Be bold with your questions.
  • View videos offline via the teachable.com app

Video Curriculum

Part 1: Movement: Uphill & Transitions
  • 10 Commandments for Backcountry Skiers (1:55)
  • Setting An Amazing Up Track (3:36)
  • Kick Turns - A Simple Way To Change Directions (6:59)
  • Booting Up - Avoid Soul Destroying Wallowing (7:04)
  • When Your Skins Ice Up (1:47)
  • Up to Down...Like A Rando Racer (3:11)
  • Up to Down...Like A Mountain Goat (5:12)
Part 1: Movement: Steep Skiing
  • Ski School - Perfect These Four Turns & Ski Anything (18:54) Preview
  • Seeing Your Line (2:17)
  • Hucking Your Meat, Without Hitting Your Deductible (2:43)
  • Whipit Good...or Not? (3:21)
  • Islands of Safety (6:06)
  • Fight the Fear with Cody Townsend (1:42)
  • Powder - 3 Tips To Avoid Face Planting (2:49)
Part 1: Movement: Ice Climbing for Skiers
  • 9 Avoidable Rookie Mistakes (7:12)
  • Pick Pick Kick Kick....without Pumping Out (2:30)
Part 2: Gear: What's In My Pack
  • Introduction (0:22) Preview
  • Layers - Avoid Being a Sweaty Frozen Mess (12:38)
  • Ice Axe - This One Is Just Right (1:45)
  • Rescue Supplies - When the Caca Hits the Fan (5:22)
  • Repair Kit - Size Up & Size Down (5:18)
  • Food & Water - Some Loose Suggestions (1:45)
  • Shove It In - 3 Packs to Rule Them All (5:58)
Part 2: Gear: Below The Knees
  • Skis & Bindings - Different Tools For Different Jobs (6:49)
  • Boots - 4, 3, 2, 1 Buckles (3:34)
  • Climbing Skins - Tips To Keep You Gliding (28:20)
  • Ski Crampons - 4 Wheel Low (5:30)
  • Boot Crampons (4:01)
  • Ski Leashes (2:18)
Part 2: Gear: Bustin' Out The Ropes
  • Different Rope Options (8:22)
  • Belayed Climbing (4:22)
  • Belayed Skiing (5:06)
  • Rappelling With Super Duper Thin Cords (6:41)
Part 2: Gear: Waxing Like A Champ
  • 15 minutes could save you 10% or more on your splits (20:02)
Part 3: Anchors: Oh The Places You'll Go
  • Intro to Anchors (1:40) Preview
  • Evaluating Existing Anchors (9:28)
  • Pitons - Learning the Lost Art (34:10)
  • Snow Anchors with Every(any)thing (31:53)
  • Trees - God's Gift To Anchor Building (9:48)
  • V Thread: The BossDaddy of All Winter Anchors (12:54)
  • 2nd Piece Buy Offer (2:16)
Part 4: Expedition Skills
  • Introduction (0:20) Preview
  • Glaciers: Skiing Down Hill & Up (2:03)
  • Haul Your Hide Out Of A Crevasse (2:53)
  • Pitching A Strong Tent (5:58)
  • Snow Trench Bivy (6:26)
  • Ninja Navigation with Your Smartphone (2:02)
  • What's Next? (2:41)
  • Deal on your next MTN Sense Course
  • Google Earth Explores Stoke Video (8:46)
  • 1100 mile ski tour Across Alps Documentary (32:59)
  • Gear Hacks 2022 (33:10)

Enroll Here

Digital Avalanche Course

Digital course on your own pace
  • Complete the course on your schedule. Use the video lessons as a reference for future refreshing.
  • You can ask Mark Smiley direct questions throughout.
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Frequently Asked Questions

When does the course start and finish?

Right now. Your pace. Yours forever.

How long do I have access to the course?

Forever - across any devices you own.

What if I am unhappy with the course?

We would never want you to be unhappy! If you are unsatisfied with your purchase, contact us in the first 30 days and we will give you a full refund.

Will watching videos of an expert make me an expert?

No- but this will help a bunch in that direction. Hands on experiences, making mistakes, and getting direct feedback are required to become an expert.

What about splitboarders?

The "steep skiing" section is not applicable, but the other skills and techniques can be applied to splitboarders

Meet your instructor
Mark Smiley

Mark Smiley's passion for adventure has taken him on 30+ expeditions on five continents. He and his wife, Janelle, are the only people that have attempted to climb all 50 Classic Climbs of North America (48 successfully). He was part of a team to set a world record skiing across the entire Alps Mountain Range (1100 miles and 292,000 vertical feet) in a mere 36 days.

His teaching style is fun, mellow and easy to understand. As an IFMGA Certified Mountain Guide, Mark is among the world's elite guides to reach this status. More important than this certification, is his candid style of conveying to you the best techniques that will help you the most.

Victor Caldua was a friend and mountain guide and father who died in an avalanche while climbing Alpamayo, Peru. He left behind a wonderful wife, Alicia, and two amazing and talented daughters, Vanessa and Estefani. 10% of the profit from this course will be gifted to Victor's family for their education expenses. Vanesse wants to be an engineer and Estefani wants to be a mountain guide.

Sept 22, 2022 Update: $8500 sent to the family, to help with school expenses. We committed to supporting their needs indefinitely. As more people enroll, their education prospects increase.