Backcountry Skiing & Snowboarding - Utah Mountain Adventures

Guiding & Instruction

Backcountry Skiing & Snowboarding

Friendly, professional UMA guides will share their knowledge and skills while leading you to bowls, glades, chutes and peaks covered in Utah's famous soft snow. Quick access to spectacular terrain from beginner to expert level make the Wasatch Mountains ideal for learning and practicing the art of backcountry skiing and snowboarding.

Lift-assisted or Canyon-to-Canyon tours from Alta to Big Cottonwood are a popular way to maximize the downhill riding on north-facing (cold snow) terrain. Fit and experienced ski and snowboard tourers can enjoy adventurous, aerobic days in the rugged Lone and Twin Peaks Wilderness areas.

Difficulty: No backcountry experience necessary; intermediate to advanced downhill ski ability and good fitness required

Duration: 6-8 hours

Max Ratio: 4:1

Meeting Time: Generally 8am

Meeting Location: Big or Little Cottonwood Park and Ride Lot, Alta or Brighton, depending on objective

Lift Accessed Tour: Price of single ride lift tickets is additional

What We Provide: 

  • Broadly experienced, highly-trained, professional ski and mountaineering guides
  • Avalanche beacon, shovel, probe and pack (if needed)

What You Need: 

How to Register: 

1 person $395 / person
2 people $275 / person
3 people $225 / person
4 people $200 / person

6.85% tax will be added to all prices; gratuity is not included

Backcountry Skiing

Backcountry Skiing

Photo by Lee Cohen


Ski & Snowboard Mountaineering

Many Wasatch summits and couloirs provide world-class ski and snowboard mountaineering and exciting descents. UMA guides know when the conditions are right, and how to get in and out of steep and technical terrain while minimizing effort and risk. Ascents may require ice axe, crampons and rope, and a few descents include rappels or belayed skiing. Generally a previous UMA skills class and / or tour is a prerequisite. Advanced objectives are recommended for experienced ski mountaineers only.

Skills Training
Learn new techniques or advance your skills to the next level, including the use of ice axe and crampons, steep snow and mixed climbing, belaying, rappelling, the placement of rock, ice and snow protection and anchor building. Then hone downhill steep skiing skills in variable snow in preparation for peak or couloir skiing in the Wasatch and beyond.

Difficulty: No backcountry experience necessary; intermediate to advanced downhill ski ability required

Duration: 6-8 hours

Max Ratio: 4:1

Meeting Time: Generally 8am

Meeting Location: Big or Little Cottonwood Park and Ride Lot, Alta or Brighton, depending on objective

Lift Accessed Tour: Price of single ride lift tickets is additional

What We Provide: 

  • Broadly experienced, highly-trained, professional ski and mountaineering guides
  • Avalanche beacon, shovel, probe and pack (if needed)

What You Need: 

  • Ice axe, crampons, harness, helmet and alpine touring, telemark ski or split-snowboard equipment
  • Lunch, water and snacks
  • Review the equipment list

How to Register: 

1 person $395 / person
2 people $275 / person
3 people $225 / person
4 people $200 / person

6.85% tax will be added to all prices; gratuity is not included

Ski Mountaineering

UMA Guide Tyson Bradley climbing Toledo Peak

Photo by Eric Shmookler

Wasatch Ski Mountaineering Objectives (subject to current conditions)

Popular descents include the following (many other descents are also available):

  • WOLVERINE CIRQUE COULOIRS

    Difficulty: Previous backcountry experience necessary; expert downhill ski ability and good fitness required

    Duration: 6-8 hours

    Max Ratio: 4:1

    Meeting Time: Generally 8 am; 8:30 if using lifts

    Meeting Location: Alta or Brighton

    Lift Accessed Tour: Price of single ride lift tickets is additional

    What We Provide: 

    • Broadly experienced, highly-trained, professional ski and mountaineering guides
    • Avalanche beacon, shovel, probe and pack (if needed)

    What You Need: 

    How to Register: 

    1 person $395 / person
    2 people $275 / person
    3 people $225 / person
    4 people $200 / person

    6.85% tax will be added to all prices; gratuity is not included

  • MT. SUPERIOR'S SOUTHEAST FACE

    Difficulty: Previous backcountry experience necessary; expert downhill ski ability and excellent fitness required

    Duration: 6-8 hours

    Max Ratio: 2:1

    Meeting Time: 6 am

    Meeting Location: Alta

    What We Provide: 

    • Broadly experienced, highly-trained, professional ski and mountaineering guides
    • Avalanche beacon, shovel, probe and pack (if needed)

    What You Need: 

    How to Register: 

    1 person $445 / person
    2 people $325 / person

    6.85% tax will be added to all prices; gratuity is not included

  • COALPIT HEADWALL

    Difficulty: Previous ski mountaineering experience necessary; expert downhill ski ability and excellent fitness required

    Duration: 8-12 hours

    Max Ratio: 2:1

    Meeting Time: 6 am

    Meeting Location: Little Cottonwood Park and Ride Lot

    What We Provide: 

    • Broadly experienced, highly-trained, professional ski and mountaineering guides
    • Avalanche beacon, shovel, probe and pack (if needed)

    What You Need: 

    • Ice axe, crampons, helmet, harness and alpine touring, telemark ski or split-snowboard equipment
    • Lunch, water and snacks
    • Review the equipment list

    How to Register: 

    1 person $495 / person
    2 people $375 / person

    6.85% tax will be added to all prices; gratuity is not included

  • PFEIFFERHORN NW COULOIR

    Difficulty: Previous ski mountaineering experience necessary; expert downhill ski ability and excellent fitness required

    Duration: 8-12 hours

    Max Ratio: 2:1

    Meeting Time: 6 am

    Meeting Location: Little Cottonwood Park and Ride Lot

    What We Provide: 

    • Broadly experienced, highly-trained, professional ski and mountaineering guides
    • Avalanche beacon, shovel, probe and pack (if needed)

    What You Need: 

    • Ice axe, crampons, helmet, harness and alpine touring, telemark ski or split-snowboard equipment
    • Lunch, water and snacks
    • Review the equipment list

    How to Register: 

    1 person $495 / person
    2 people $375 / person

    6.85% tax will be added to all prices; gratuity is not included

  

Overnight, Multi-Day Ski Tours

UMA offers custom, overnight backcountry trips for two or more days. Mountaineering, winter camping, route-finding, avalanche safety, steep skiing and other skills can be included, depending on your goals.

Camp in the Wasatch backcountry and enjoy the serenity at night and first tracks in the morning. Guides will show you how to stay warm and comfortable while snow camping in a spectacular wilderness setting. The next morning you can move camp, work on skills, skin up for more runs or attempt the descent of a nearby summit. Break camp and ski out to a trailhead on the last day.

Difficulty: No backcountry experience necessary; intermediate to advanced downhill ski ability required

Duration: 2 days +

Max Ratio: 4:1

Meeting Time: Generally 8am

Meeting Location: Big or Little Cottonwood Park and Ride Lot, Alta or Brighton, depending on objective

What We Provide: 

  • Broadly experienced, highly-trained, professional ski and mountaineering guides
  • Avalanche beacon, shovel, probe and pack (if needed)
  • Breakfast, dinner, tent, cook kit and stove

What You Need: 

1 person $575 / person
2 people $395 / person
3 people $325 / person
4 people $300 / person

6.85% tax will be added to all prices; gratuity is not included

Overnight & Multi-Day Ski Tours

Multi-Day Ski Tour Camping Below Pfeifferhorn

Photo by Tyson Bradley


Ski Mountaineering Race Training

Instruction and strategy to improve participants' performance in Ski-Mountaineering competitions. Oriented toward backcountry skiers new to racing or seeking to enhance existing skills.

Ski-Mo competition involves racing uphill on boots, skis or split-boards with skins, then downhill. Fast, efficient climbing on skins; low-energy, high-speed downhill skiing; booting up steep terrain; use of fixed lines; and quick transitions from ascent to descent modes are keys to success. Spend a day honing these skills and related endurance techniques with a UMA guide / instructor in order to improve your racing and / or to maximize your ski mountaineering efficiency.

Difficulty: No backcountry experience necessary; intermediate downhill ski ability required

Duration: 6-8 hours

Max Ratio: 4:1

Meeting Time: 8am

Meeting Location: Big or Little Cottonwood Park and Ride Lot, Alta or Brighton, depending on current conditions

What We Provide: 

  • Broadly experienced, highly-trained, professional ski and mountaineering guides
  • Avalanche beacon, shovel, probe and pack (if needed)

What You Need: 

  • Alpine touring, telemark ski or split-snowboard equipment
  • Lunch, water, snacks, sleeping bag and pad(s)
  • Review the equipment list

How to Register: 

1 person $395 / person
2 people $275 / person
3 people $225 / person
4 people $200 / person

6.85% tax will be added to all prices; gratuity is not included

Wasatch Powderkeg

Wasatch Powderkeg

Photo by Chad Brackelsberg


Film Work

UMA Guides, many of whom are fully certified, have experience assisting with feature films and small productions for both big screen and YouTube/Internet applications. Guides provide the safety, consulting, flexibility and creativity to enable crews to achieve production goals in the beautiful, accessible Wasatch Mountains.

Please call the office for rates

Utah Mountain Adventures

P.O. Box 521809

Salt Lake City, Utah 84152-1809

Phone: (801) 550 3986

Fax: (801) 486 8505

Email: uma@utahmountainadventures.com

Utah Mountain Adventures | Patagonia Utah Mountain Adventures | Forest Service Backcountry Skiing Utah, by Tyson Bradley
Backcountry Skiing & Snowboarding - Utah Mountain Adventures

Leave the crowds behind, and expand your skiing and snowboarding horizons! Traveling out-ofbounds, using climbing skins and alpine touring (AT) or telemark binding, or a split-board is becoming tremendously popular.

AT skis and splitboards are available for rent from UMA and local shops.

Touring is the perfect sport for those who hike or climb in summer and love to ski or snowboard in winter. Skinning facilitates approach and egress from peaks in winter and spring that would take far longer without. Solitude, cardio-vascular exercise, and adventurous runs are all part of the "off-piste" experience.

The Wasatch Range offers easy lift and trailhead access to deep, light snow in wide-open bowls, protected glades, and steep chutes.

Lift access is available from Alta, Brighton, The Canyons and Snowbird.

Trailhead access is available in Big and Little Cottonwood Canyons and Millcreek, etc.

A knowledgeable UMA guide will lead you into the finest snow and terrain. Our guides keep abreast of the avalanche, snow and weather conditions to choose the best tours. They take into consideration both your fitness level and downhill ability to select the appropriate routes for you.

UMA guides pace you and teach you how to travel uphill efficiently, working on rest-step and kick-turning techniques and progress only as fast as you feel comfortable. They give you plenty of time to rest, enjoy the view and take photos. UMA guides demonstrate how to transition between the uphill and downhill modes and teach as much about avalanche hazard evaluation, route finding and other skills as you want to learn.

Skiers and snowboarders of all ability levels improve techniques, discover new terrain, and build leadership skills.

For more information on backcountry skiing & snowboarding classes in the Salt Lake City, Utah area, please view our Backcountry Skiing & Splitboarding Courses.

We also offer private Guided Backcountry Touring & Instruction in the Wasatch Range in and around the Salt Lake area.