Backcountry Skiing Checklist

  1. Check Conditions
    1. Read the Avalanche forecast for your chosen area
    2. Check the weather forecast for your area
  2. Make a Plan
    1. Look at a map and match terrain with conditions
    2. Make a backup plan in case conditions are not as expected
    3. Be sure someone knows your plan (Someone Not with you)
  3. Communicate with partners
    1. Confirm route choice and timing with partners
    2. Confirm gear 
      1. Everyone needs rescue gear, but things like first aid and repair kits can be share
      2. Special gear likes ropes, harness or crampons may be needed as well
  4. Pack your gear
    1. Beacon (put it on, turn it on)  Make sure your batteries are good.
    2. Shovel, Probe
    3. Ski, Skis, Poles, and Boots
    4. Layers: Puffy, Hardshell, Soft Shell
    5. Light gloves, Warm gloves
    6. Hat, Goggles, Sunglasses, Buff, Sun hat
    7. Repair kit and First Aid kit
    8. Lunch and Water
    9. Sunscreen and Lip balm
    10. Communication/Navigation (Phone, InReach, Compass, Map)
  5. At The Trailhead
    1. Reconfirm route plan and timing
    2. Verbal gear check
    3. Avalanche Beacon Check
  6. During your Tour
    1. Ask if terrain/conditions are consistent with the pre-trip plan
    2. Look for signs of instability
    3. Assess the likelihood, Size, and Consequences of an Avalanche
    4. Plan: Spacing, Areas of Safety, and Escape route

About Todd Passey

Todd is America’s 62nd IFMGA licensed mountain guide with more than 20 years of experience. His guiding has taken him across the globe, from the Arctics of Svalbard to Antarctica’s South Pole.

Todd has guided all the “Seven Summits” including 2 Everest summits, 22 Denali summits and 22 summits of Antarctica’s Mt. Vinson. Todd has 10 first ascents in Antarctica’s sentinel range, and climbed test pieces like Denali’s Cassin ridge and the Walker spur on the Grand Jorasses.

Todd is an accomplished skier who’s stomping grounds include Valdez Alaska, the French, Italian and Swiss Alps, Norway and of course his backyard, Utah’s Wasatch mountains.

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Backcountry Skiing Checklist

Check Conditions Read the Avalanche forecast for your chosen area Check the weather forecast for your area Make a Plan Look at a map and