This one-day beginner course provides tips and tricks needed for smooth travel in simple backcountry terrain, covering basics such as gear selection and use to skinning technique and route selection. Spend an enjoyable day with an IAG instructor, and gain experience moving through untracked terrain.

This course is an excellent precursor to AST1 and provides a fun and safe environment to try out alpine touring, split boarding or telemark. Great for anyone looking to gain some confidence on their gear, or those looking for a taste of what it’s like to break free from the resort.


  • Selecting, understanding, and using backcountry gear
  • Skinning technique
  • Basics of skiing in natural conditions
  • Introduction to winter travel considerations and hazards
  • Route finding and track setting
  • Opportunity for supervised practice and coaching
  • Suggestions for progression


These trips utilize areas around Mount Washington for ease of access. Exact areas will be chosen based on conditions of the day, and group experience level.


A typical day begins at 08:30 and finishes around 16:00.

Participants will receive a pre-trip email one-week prior with exact meeting details.


To maximize your enjoyment of the day, we ask that you:

  • Have moderate fitness (able to hike for 2-3 hours/day)
  • Have intermediate ski ability on-piste (meaning you can comfortably ski groomed blue square runs)
  • Are prepared to spend the day outside in variable conditions (please see gear list)

The choice between alpine touring skis, telemark skis or a splitboard is up to you. Choose the mode of transport that you are hoping to gain experience with.

Questions? Check out our FAQ page, or send us an email.

Included in the price:

  • 1 day with an IAG instructor

Not included in the price:

  • Transportation
  • Food
  • Accommodation
  • Personal equipment
  • Avi kit (available as an add-on)


  • Avi Kit rental $15.00

    Avalanche kit rental includes transceiver, shovel and probe. If you are bringing your own avi kit, this must include a modern, digital, 3-antenna transceiver, and a solid shovel and probe. If you do not have all three of these things then you must rent a kit from us to take part. Avi Kits once rented are non-refundable.

Tell us when you would like to go. Start a new trip
As low as:

$195.00 / person

(at 6 :1 ratio)
Nate's instruction met everyone where they were at in a really non-judgmental and accepting space. It was exactly what I was looking for in an intro course. Ashley, Mt Washington
Excellent overall introduction to Backcountry skiing, Nathan presented the various subjects with enthusiasm and clarity, his background knowledge was evident. I would be very happy to learn more from Nathan and would feel very comfortable to follow his lead on another course or adventure. Alain, Mt Washington
Literally everything went well. The beginning instruction in the parking lot was SO helpful to understand our gear and how to use it and then with that foundation we got out on the skis. I learned so many skills and feel confident to begin ski touring. I am SO grateful for the course! I was a weaker skier than the other people and the instructor made sure I was very comfortable and even though I was really nervous about skiing, it was the best ski day I’ve ever had thanks to his help. Right away he reinforced that we were there to have fun, and I could take as much time as I want and there was no pressure and just to do what I was comfortable with. It was so wonderful! He also let our group tailor the day and prioritize what we want most to learn about which was wonderful. I cannot recommend this course highly enough. Lydia G., Mt Washington
Nate was an amazing teacher and instructor for the intro to backcountry course. If you are interested in getting into back country skiing this is the course to take and the person to take it with. Nate fostered an inclusive environment and did a good job answering any and all questions. Could not have asked for a better instructor for the intro to backcountry course. I'd recommend this course to any of my friends, and it definitely wont be my last course with IAG thanks to Nate and his fantastic instruction!! Anonymous, Mt Washington
The whole day was fantastic. Helene was a fabulous instructor who met the needs of the whole group. Lisa Duthie, Mount Washington