Backcountry Ski Touring School (BSTS)

Learn to Cross-Country Ski in the Backcountry!

2016-17 BSTS Student Handouts and Materials

BSTS Instructor Materials (Password Protected)

Experience Colorado’s finest snow, away from the crowds and expensive lift tickets! Learn to cross-country ski and get prepared to ski backcountry trails using classic Nordic-style technique. (No AT or Tele gear allowed in this school.) We can accommodate students ranging from never-evers to folks who have skied for years and just want to fine tune their skills.  We’ve got a class that is right for you!  Classes are small, often less than ten students, with at least two instructors.  Just ask around – your fellow CMC members are our best marketing tools!

In December, we start with an interactive session showing you gear, clothing and avalanche awareness. In January, you’ll get three full days on the snow with lessons geared to your level of skill and endurance.  The first on-snow day is at a Nordic Center and focuses on helping you to become comfortable on skis and to learn basic flat track skills. The second ski day will emphasize basic downhill techniques as well as maneuvers for going uphill. The third day is the one students look forward to: a trip into the backcountry to apply your newly learned skills and advance your technique.  The locations chosen for both the second and third days are tailored to the skill level of your group to maximize your skiing experience.  Tuition includes the lecture, three days of lessons, a trail pass for the first day and lift ticket for the second day, if required. Where else can you find this value in today’s ski market?!  Here’s a little of what you’ll learn:

  • Proper skis/gear/clothing for the terrain and conditions you want to ski
  • Better balance techniques
  • Diagonal stride, including poling
  • Downhill maneuvers (includes stopping, which is always good to know…)
  • Turning maneuvers
  • Climbing maneuvers – herringbone, side-step, side-step traverse, etc.
  • Avalanche awareness

The dates for this year’s 2016-2017 school are:

Interactive classroom session on Tuesday 6:30pm December 6, 2016 (a make-up lecture is available).

On-Snow Days for 2017 (choose a set):

Saturdays: January 7, 14, 21

Sundays: January 8, 15, 22

Tuesdays: January 10, 17, 24

Registration fee is $95 (must be a CMC member). For Trip Leaders and returning students who were enrolled in one of the last three years, we’re offering a discount to $85 – contact CMC Member Services at 303-279-3080 x2 and request the discount.

For more information and online registration for the Backcountry Ski Touring School, please visit the BSTS Online Registration Form on CMC’s website.  If you have questions which are not answered here or on the registration form, please contact BSTS School Director Joan Rossiter at or call 303-241-7968.



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