Intro to Backcountry Skiing & Splitboarding - Mountain Skills Academy & Adventures
Banff / Canmore

Intro to Backcountry Skiing & Splitboarding

Heli-Assisted Ski Touring in Duffey Lake


  • Private Group only (for up to 6 people): $849

Location: Canmore and Banff, Canadian Rockies   Duration: 1 Day   Fitness: Good   Ability: Introductory   Prerequisites: Intermediate runs  

Have you been wanting to try backcountry skiing or snowboarding? Spend a day with one of our professional ski guides and learn the basics of the backcountry. No backcountry experience is required. Safety and learning are the focus plus getting into some gorgeous untracked snow!

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Available daily. Click "BOOK NOW" to select a date.

To book a date within the next 7 days, contact or call 1-855-938-9242.

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Adventure Information

This course is for skiers and snowboarders looking to develop the basic skills to backcountry ski or ride safely. We strongly recommend you follow up this course with our Avalanche Skills Training 1 course.

Among the many skills taught, students will learn basic avalanche rescue, terrain analysis, skin track setting, uphill and downhill skiing technique, route finding, tree skiing and trip planning.

Based out of Canmore/Banff, we spend a day skiing in the beautiful Rocky Mountains. Field locations include Kananaskis Country, the Kootenays and the Icefields Parkway. There is no better place in the world to learn backcountry skiing than Canada – easy access, excellent and dependable snow, skiing in the trees, in the alpine and on the glaciers as well as incredible ski mountaineering.

  • Meet at GearUp Mountain Sports Rentals, Bow Valley Trail, Canmore
  • Equipment check and sign waivers.
  • Morning: day’s goals, safety discussion and gear check.
  • Drive to backcountry ski-touring location.
  • A day of skiing and riding with a focus on safety in the backcountry.
  • Tour Topics: Backcountry skiing/splitboarding equipment; route planning, up-track setting and situational terrain awareness; avalanche awareness and rescue; downhill run plan, hazard evaluation, terrain consideration, downhill powder technique, and fun!

We recommend Gear Up Mountain Sports for any rental gear you need for your trip.


Touring skis / splitboard and skins
Ski / snowboard boots (your regular boots will work with the touring bindings)
Weatherproof shell jacket and pants – dress for a day of riding in the alpine
Warm under layer(s)
Winter hat/toque
Goggles and/or sunglasses
Water (at least 1 litre)
Lunch and snacks
Avalanche safety equipment (transceiver, shovel, probe)

Transport to Field Locations

Participants in this course will meet their guide at an agreed time and location, usually in Canmore on the morning of the course. From there you will be expected to have private transport to get to the course location. If you don’t have private transport we can arrange transport with the guide for an additional cost.

Accommodation in Canmore

Accommodation is not included in the course price.

Food for Backcountry Field Time

Pack plenty of high energy food and snacks as well as fluids to keep you at your best all day long. There are plenty of restaurants and supermarkets in Canmore, and if you completely forget, we often start the day at a local coffee shop so you’ll be able to grab something for lunch from there. A thermos of tea or coffee is also a great idea.

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Have particular dates in mind? Let us know! If we have enough requests we'll add them to this course.

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Buddy Up!

Share the cost of the guide! Let us know which activity you would like to do and we'll do our best to find you a buddy.

Important Information

We strongly recommend you purchase insurance for Trip Cancellation, Emergency Evacuation and Adventure Sports Coverage (some backcountry adventures are excluded from coverage).

Emergency Evacuation and Medical Insurance

This coverage provides you with emergency air rescue if required and full medical. Parks Canada provides free evacuation within the Parks and if you are a Canadian resident your medical will be covered by your provincial health plan (except ambulance/air ambulance transport). We strongly recommend international visitors purchase this insurance.

Emergency evacuation insurance is compulsory for all our hut trips, as these typically take place outside of Parks Canada’s jurisdiction.

Trip Cancellation Insurance

To prepare for unforeseen circumstances we strongly recommend purchasing Trip Cancellation Insurance at the time of booking your trip. Trip Cancellation insurance covers many scenarios to reimburse you for cancelled trips outside of your control.

Our recommended insurance provider is Tugo.Com who can be reached via the following:

All prices are quoted in Canadian dollars and are exclusive of a 5% tax (GST). Prices are subject to change. Guide gratuities are not included in fees.

Full payment is required at time of registration. Our preferred method of payment is by Mastercard or VISA through our online payment portal. We also accept credit card payment over the phone, bank transfer and cash.

Mountain Skills Academy takes mountain safety very seriously, however there is no way to completely mitigate risk in alpine environments. Prior to undertaking any of our courses or trips we require you to sign a waiver.

Mountain conditions are extremely unpredictable and can change at short notice. Our guides endeavor to undertake the routes and/or peaks that our clients desire, however our decisions will be impacted by conditions. Unfortunately we are not able to offer refunds if conditions are not suitable to undertake a particular route on the day you have booked. We will however make every effort to take you out for the best day possible given the conditions.

Applicable to all tours and courses*: If conditions force us to cancel a course or trip we will do all we can to accommodate you at another date. If this isn’t possible we will offer a full refund. We reserve the right to decline rescheduling dates based on availability.  *Does not apply to First Aid and Wilderness First Aid courses.

Late Arrival Policy

Guests arriving more than 15 minutes late for an activity forfeit 100% of the tour price. Tours leave promptly; it is recommended to arrive 15 minutes early to sort out gear and sign waivers.

Adventures Cancellation Policy

Half Day and Full Day Programs

  • Within 48 hours of start time:  Cancellation will result in a 100% forfeit of tour price, no rescheduling.
  • More than 48 hours:  $25 rescheduling & refunding fee (per booking).
Multi Day Programs
  • 2 Day Programs: Within 10 days cancellation notice will result in a 100% forfeit of tuition, Outside of 10 days: $25 penalty to reschedule per booking or full refund.
  • 3+ Day Programs: 30 days cancellation notice will result in a 100% forfeit of tuition, Outside of 30 days: $75 penalty to reschedule or full refund.
  • Customized Trips: 30 days cancellation notice will result in a 100% forfeit of tuition, Outside of 30 days: $75penalty to reschedule per booking or full refund.

**On all multi day trips pre arranged add-ons are non-refundable (food, accommodation, etc).

Courses Cancellation Policy

1-2 Day Courses

  • Within 10 days: Cancellation notice will result in a 100% forfeit of tuition
  • Outside of 10 days: $75 penalty to reschedule per booking or full refund.

3+ Day Courses

  • Within 30 days: Cancellation notice will result in a 100% forfeit of tuition
  • Outside of 30 days: $75 penalty to reschedule per booking or full refund.

**If you are able to find someone else to take your place on a course, please let us know as we are more than happy to transfer bookings.

Minors (under the age of 18 for our courses based in Alberta and 19 for those based in BC) and custodial groups (youths affiliated with an institution where the parents/legal guardian are not present on the trip) may register for certain trips and courses with a letter of consent from parents or legal guardian as well as must sign a waiver and have their parents or legal guardian sign a waiver. Further, we abide by the Parks Canada Custodial Group winter backcountry policy as outlined here.


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