Backcountry Skiing and Snowboarding Instruction  

IMG Cascades Backcountry Itinerary

On the first day of your trip, plan to meet your guide at the Alpine Inn at Crystal Mountain at 7:30 am. This can also be an opportunity to have breakfast (meal cost not included). For directions to the Alpine Inn and if you plan on straying at Crystal Mountain please check for more information. If you are coming from out of state you will need to arrive in the greater Seattle area or SeaTac Airport no later than the evening prior to your scheduled trip. Current conditions and driving information can be found at

Specific itineraries depend on the trip planned as each instructional tour is custom, but typical itineraries might be as follows:

One-day Ski Mountaineering Instructional Tour

A typical day will begin at 7:30am meeting your guide and discussing the curriculum and the day's tour plan. After a review of basic transceiver skills and backcountry travel, we will either use the lifts or begin our tour from the base of Crystal. We can tour to Silver Basin, Bullion Basin, or head out into the amazing ski terrain of the Morse Creek area. We will hone techniques for efficient uphill travel. The guides will help you find the best powder stashes in the area. The amazingly diverse and varied terrain of the Crystal backcountry ensures that there will be something for everyone; from the strong intermediate to the eager expert.

The training curriculum for the day includes the following skills:

  • Use of skins and touring ski/board set-ups; AT, telemark, or splitboard
  • Transceiver function and use
  • Route finding and terrain assessment
  • Skiing variable snow conditions
  • Intro to avalanche safety
  • Environmental awareness and LNT principles

Two-day Overnight Backcountry Instructional Tours

For those looking to venture a little deeper into the backcountry, our overnight backcountry instructional tours are the perfect option. This two day course will allow us to drop over the Pacific Crest Trail and into the Morse Creek Basin. This program will provide more training solitude and more skiing! With so much terrain to offer, an overnight trip is the ideal way to learn the latest skills and techniques to safely and enjoyably experience the Crystal Mountain backcountry.

In addition to all of the skills covered in the one day tour curriculum, participants will also learn winter camping techniques and more in depth avalanche hazard assessment.

The training curriculum for this instructional tour includes the following skills:

  • Skiing with an overnight pack
  • Rescue considerations
  • Extended route finding and terrain assessment
  • LNT principles for winter alpine camps
  • Skiing variable snow conditions
  • Route selection and safe travel techniques in avalanche terrain