(San Juan backcountry touring)


1:1:  $499/person/day

2:1:  $355/person/day

3:1:  $275/person/day

4:1:  $245/person/day

5:1:  $245/person/day


January - April 2023


Craft your own custom backcountry skiing or splitboarding experience with IRIS! The incomparable San Juan Mountains near Ouray, CO provide endless ski lines.

Do you want to find the best snow in the San Juan backcountry? Are you looking to hone your backcountry skiing or splitboarding skills, travel techniques, or avalanche awareness? Want to bring your friends on a hut trip?

IRIS will work with you to craft a custom backcountry ski / splitboard experience near Ouray, Colorado.

Please contact IRIS so we can create an experience tailored to you and your goals!

Travel Recommendations:

Closest Airports: Montrose (MTJ) & Grand Junction (GJT)


Hotel Recommendation: 

Ouray Inn

(970) 325-4445

West, 120 6th Ave. Ouray, CO 81427

IRIS guests receive a 10% discount at the Ouray Inn. After IRIS registration, guests will receive a booking code to utilize on the Ouray Inn website or while booking over the phone. A to-go breakfast will be provided if you alert the Ouray Inn a week in advance of your program start date



Participants must be solid resort skiers and able to link turns in a variety of snow conditions. Limited backcountry skiing experience is okay.

**This list is a guideline. You do not need the exact layers but will need something of similar warmth. If you have questions please ask us.**


Lightweight Baselayer Top (polyester, wool or silk top)

Mid-Weight Top (lightweight fleece or lightweight puffy jacket)

Lightweight Wind Shirt (or very lightweight soft-shell jacket)

Waterproof Shell Jacket (Gore Tex, Pertex or similar, not insulated)

Big Puffy Coat (down or synthetic jacket to fit on top of all other layers)

Lightweight Base Layer Bottom (polyester, wool or silk long underwear bottom)

Ski Pants (non-insulated hard shell or soft shell pants).

Gloves (at least 2 pairs: a pair of heavy, waterproof, warm gloves and a pair of lighter gloves for sweaty ski touring. If your hands get cold easily, bring extra gloves, mittens and/or handwarmers)

Hats (one sun hat, one warm cap)

Buff or Neck Gaiter


Socks (wool/synthetic ski socks)



*Touring Skis or Splitboard (make sure it is tuned/freshly waxed)

*Alpine Touring Ski Boots or Snowboard Boots (check that the boot works with your ski binding)

*Ski Poles (adjustable poles with powder baskets)

*Climbing Skins (they must be cut to fit your skis)

Big Day-Tour Backpack or Airbag Pack (at least 30+ liters capacity)


Ski Helmet (optional)

BCA Link Radio (optional)

**Avalanche Transceiver (must be a 3-Antenna Transceiver with fresh batteries)

Your Beacon’s User Manual (hard copy or PDF saved to your phone)

**Avalanche Probe (must be at least 240cm long)

**Avalanche Rescue Shovel (must have a metal blade)

Water Bottle(s) (either 1 Nalgene, or 1 Nalgene and 1 small Thermos. No Camelbacks).

Sunscreen and Lip Balm

Headlamp (fresh batteries)

Lunch Food & Snacks (about 1lb/day: sandwich, Twinkies, jerky, cheese, trail mix, candy bars, nuts, salami)


*Indicates items available to rent through Ridgway Adventure Sports in Ridgway, CO: (970) 626-8500. They do not carry snowboard boots.*

**Beacon/Shovel/Probe rentals are included in course fees.**

***A tip for your guide for a job well done is always appreciated.***


Kristin Arnold guide and climber

IFMGA Mountain Guide
AMGA Ski Guide
AMGA Alpine Guide
AMGA Rock Guide

Sheldon Kerr climber

IFMGA Mountain Guide
AMGA Ski Guide
AMGA Alpine Guide
AMGA Rock Guide