Scheduled Course - LGBTQ+ Backcountry Mentorship

LGBTQ+ Backcountry Mentorship

This program is for LGBTQ+ adults who are advanced skiers and riders, but lack the skills and knowledge to plan and implement their own backcountry tours. Participants will begin by learning the foundations of backcountry skiing and splitboarding. Backcountry touring topics will include how to select an uphill route, gear use and maintenance, uphill efficiency, transitions, and downhill management. Snow and avalanche topics will have a focus on making observations in the field, rescue skills, terrain identification, and decision making. The program will be led by LGBTQ+ guides and educators.

The goal of this program is to build confidence and encourage independence in backcountry skiing and splitboarding.The creation of this mentorship program is intended to build community and offer a space for LGBTQ+ identifying people to feel welcomed. This program is being created with the hopes of encouraging more diversity in the backcountry. Everyone stands to benefit from a more diverse outdoors and this mentorship program is one way to improve our broader backcountry ski and splitboard community. By building connections and relationships within the LGBTQ+ community, participants can feel comfortable being themselves. Better learning outcomes are often associated with affinity groups like this one and our hope is to encourage safe, lifelong learning in the backcountry.

Topics Include:

  • Dial in your backcountry setup, review what to bring & what not to; learn how to stay warm, yet not overheat on the skin trail
  • Implement beacon function and distance checks
  • Get feedback, practice and hone avalanche rescue skills
  • Methodize your tour planning - use systems to help formulate options and select appropriate tour plans (avi and weather forecasts, red light/green light terrain, etc.)
  • Dig pits, practice on-the-go tests, and record daily findings
  • Evolve your avalanche risk and terrain decision-making skills in relation to the changing snowpack
  • Dial in skinning technique: kick turns, pressure breathing etc
  • Learn to set an efficient, low-risk skin track
  • Develop your downhill movement skills in a various snow types
  • Test your limits - on steeps, trees, couloirs, distance and vertical
  • Get a taste for ski-mountaineering - how and when is it useful climb on foot and to use sharps? Pros & cons of ice axe, whippet, ski & boot crampons, belayed skiing/riding
  • Ride a novel line - as conditions permit. Apply new skills and push for a Wasatch Classic
  • Learn how to be a leader and solid backcountry companion
  • Work as a team, build each other up, be your best self, get fit, explore new terrain and celebrate being out in nature!

NOTE: Guides plan to cover the skills and objectives listed above as indicated by current weather, avalanche and snow conditions. For example, we don't want to waste a low-hazard powder day on rescue drills. Primary objectives will be announced a day or 2 prior to each tour.

How to Register:

Backcountry Mentorship

LGBTQ+ Backcountry Mentorship

Backcountry Mentorship

LGBTQ+ Backcountry Mentorship

Backcountry Mentorship

LGBTQ+ Backcountry Mentorship

Backcountry Mentorship

LGBTQ+ Backcountry Mentorship

Course Details

2023-24 Dates

Dec 17, 2023 Sunday
(Required Assessment Tour & Avi rescue)
Jan 14, 2024 Sunday
Jan 28, 2024 Sunday
Feb 11, 2024 Sunday
Feb 25, 2024 Sunday
Mar 10, 2024 Sunday
Mar 24, 2024 Sunday


6 of 7 Sundays

NOTE: 6 dates are offered in the new year, but participants may miss one day. Tuition covers 5 of the 6 days in the new year. UMA understands that sometimes life compels participants to miss a day. Participants may add-on the 7th tour date, at prorated fee, if they've attended all 6 tours.


Salt Lake City, Utah


$1650 + tax (tuition covers 6 of 7 tours; including the required first tour Dec 17th)

UMA reserves the right to cancel or shorten the clinic if fewer than 2 participants register.


Should be capable of ascending 2000'+ in a day. Comfortable & in control linking turns in varied ungroomed snow (light and dense powder, crusts, firm snow, etc) and terrain (trees, gullies, steeps, narrow exit trails). Participants should have a basic understanding of their touring equipment and how to plan for and what to expect during a day out in winter conditions.

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Utah Mountain Adventures

P.O. Box 521809

Salt Lake City, Utah 84152-1809

Phone: (801) 550 3986

Fax: (801) 486 8505


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