The Ultimate Guide to Backcountry Skiing & Ski Mountaineering

skills for a long and rewarding career skiing in the backcountry

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Untracked waist deep powder, cresting ridgelines to see what's on the other side, and endless life experience deposits are a few key reasons why skiing in the backcountry is the best.

Yet, before venturing beyond the ski resort boundary, it is important to have the knowledge and skills to travel in the backcountry in good style. Gear is a place where many begin. With so many options where do you even start? What about actually being able to move in the mountains? How in the world are some skiers logging 10,000 feet in one day, when you feel totally destroyed after 1/4th of that? What do they know that you don't? What about getting technical, like rappelling into a line, or setting up a belay to ski something icy or extra steep? And what about the skills that you don't even know that you don't know? Questions you don't even know to ask.

You just discovered a jackpot of backcountry wisdom to answer these questions and more. All accessible within this entertaining video based online course.

You will learn from several elite experts that have gained this understanding after years of intense backcountry skiing, guiding skiing, and professional development (IFMGA Mountain Guide & AAI Avalanche Level III certifications & PSIA Level III).

Four Parts:

Movement: Next, we move on to a comprehensive spectrum of cool techniques to help you move better in the mountains. Ski touring up, booting, skiing steep lines, hucking, and ice climbing. You will be eager to practice, and then apply these skills in real terrain.

Gear: Feeling flooded with massive amount of products you can blow your money on? We cut through the fluff, and you get gear recommendations that work the best for the people that use them the most. Eliminate any buying confusion you might have, see gear you need to take you places you've never been, and upgrade gear that is holding you back.

Anchors: These skills, when applied correctly, will open the door to an amazing world of steep lines, more untracked powder, and first descents. When you can build a solid anchor in rock and snow, you have the keys to the castle! Learn these skills with minimal gear to keep your pack as light as possible.

Expedition Skills: Want to ski in Alaska, Canada, Chile, New Zealand, Chamonix or Norway? If you don't yet, you will. Learn some crevasse rescue techniques, navigation anywhere in the world with your smartphone, and more.

Your ambition and talent + this course = skiing bigger lines more confidently. This learning experience will be fun, applicable, and practical...No bull$&!+

Course Curriculum

  Part 1 // Movement: Ice Climbing for Skiers
Available in days
days after you enroll
  Part 2 // Gear: Waxing Like A Champ
Available in days
days after you enroll

Your Instructor

Mark Smiley
Mark Smiley

Mark Smiley has been climbing, skiing and guiding for the better part of this life. His passion for adventure has taken him around the world. 5 Denali expeditions, and 20+ expeditions to places like China, Peru, Ecuador, Across Europe, Canada and Alaska, have given Mark a ton of experiences to draw from.

He and his wife, Janelle, are the only people that have attempted to climb all 50 Classic Climbs of North America (48 successfully). Additionally, he was part of a team to set a world record skiing across the entire Alps Mountain Range in a mere 36 days.

His teaching style is fun, concise 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 of the best information and techniques that will really help you. Through this course you will tap into his expertise, skills, and knowledge for real world learning.

Instagram feed @smileysproject

Anyone lucky enough to have been taught by these three steep skiing and backcountry skiing experts only has good things to say. Now, they share their magic with you! Steep skiing and avalanche education are huge topics that they tackle with professional poise. You will take away actionable tips that will make a difference.

Steph Schmitt is a top tier ski instructors at one of the best ski resorts in the world. She goes in depth on several skills needed for steep skiing.

Cody Townsend is a household name in the ski industry. He etched his name in the history books from countless incredibly steep descents around the world. Currently he is working on skiing the 50 Classic Ski Descents of North America. Get some pointers from him on what he does best, steep skiing!

Get started now!

"Thanks a ton for the mentorship, it's really changed my skiing for the better." -Ian Johnston

Frequently Asked Questions

When does the course start and finish?
The course starts now and never ends! It is a completely self-paced online course.
How long do I have access to the course?
How does lifetime access sound? After enrolling, you have unlimited access to this course for as long as you like - across any and all 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

Get started now!