7 Women-Specific Backcountry Skiing Programs

Whether you’re looking for an avalanche safety course or a guided hut trip, these clinics and trips are some of the best in North America.

Though the backcountry skiing (and riding) community has traditionally been dominated by males, more women are getting more involved in exploring the mountains outside of traditional resorts. We set out to find the best camps, clinics, and programs for women looking for backcountry skiing education and guided tours. So grab your calendars and sign up to learn skills and safety—and find new powder-chasing partners.

Ski Divas

Where: Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and Valdez, Alaska
When: February 6-10, April 8-15

Mountain guide Jessica Barker leads the charge at Ski Divas, a collection of Barker’s guided camps. Barker works with Exum Mountain Guides out of Jackson Hole to offer a full week of women’s backcountry skiing for all levels (February 6-10, 2017). Farther north, you’ll find Barker working with Alaska Rendezvous Heli-Ski Guides to create a female-focused heli-ski adventure near Valdez (April 8-15, 2017). Her programs take care of lodging, skiing, food and yoga classes and usually offer discounts for post-ski massages.

Alpine Club of Canada

Where: Lake Louise, Alberta
When: March 6-11

Taught by and for female ski enthusiasts, the Alpine Club of Canada’s annual Women’s Ski Camp focuses not only on backcountry skiing in the Canadian Rockies, but also on beginner ski mountaineering. The camp is set up as a hut-to-hut trip over the Wapta Icefield, complete with daytime ski tours and evening education sessions on topics like snow stability, glacier travel, and whiteout management.

Aspen Expeditions

Where: Aspen, Colorado
When: March 23-25

Aspen Expeditions Touring near Independence Pass, Aspen, CO | Photo: Jeff Brockmeyer

For those interested in a one-day introduction to backcountry skiing before heading to a week long camp or hut trip, head to Aspen for a 1-day Intro to Backcountry course with Aspen Expeditions. Aspen Expeditions works to bring more women into backcountry skiing by creating programs that focus on instilling confidence and working to lower feelings of pressure and bust intimidation. For those ready to take their skills to the next level, Aspen Expeditions also guides a hut trip with a similar focus on confidence building for female skiers.

Sister’s Meeting in the Mountains

Where: Silverton, Colorado
When: April 8-9

Women who have been part of the backcountry skiing community for a while have probably heard of Sister’s Meeting in the Mountains, which holds the reputation for being one of the seminal annual events for expert female skiers. Along with exploration of the backcountry terrain at Silverton Mountain, the days are packed with speakers from the ski industry who range from professional athletes to writers to female snowsport CEOs. This event is for women who already have backcountry experience with the emphasis on expert skiing and the female community around it.

Backcountry Babes

Where: Locations vary
When: Dates vary

Backcountry Babes Splitboard Touring Breckenridge | Photo: Leanne Wren

Backcountry Babes is one of the only dedicated guiding companies that focuses specifically on backcountry skiing and splitboarding for women. For those based on the West Coast (or willing to travel west) they have it all, from beginner backcountry ski tours in Colorado to epic hut trips in British Columbia. The company also offers a slew of AIARE Courses taught specifically by female instructors.

Powder Betty

Where: Skykomish, Washington
When: Dates vary

Powder Betty is a two-day course aimed at putting into practice the principles and knowledge taught in the traditional AIARE 1 course. Advanced skiers with basic snow safety backgrounds head out for two full days of touring with Northwest Mountain School co-owner and guide Olivia Race. Along with skiing in Stevens Pass, participants get to practice decision-making, get comfortable with their backcountry gear and ultimately gain the experience and confidence to plan their own backcountry ski trips.

She Jumps

Where: Locations vary
When: Dates vary

SheJumps Avi 1 Class | Photo: Danika Pariseau

This inspiring non-profit is committed to increasing female participation in outdoor sports in every region of the U.S. Their annual Alpine Finishing School is a week-long mountaineering course for advanced backcountry skiers and splitboarders based out of the Canadian Rockies’ Selkirk Backcountry Lodge (April 2017). For those just starting to explore the world of backcountry, SheJumps also offers a robust list of avalanche safety classes throughout the country.

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