The world of backcountry skiing & splitboarding can be an intimidating, yet incredibly rewarding place. IRIS is here to help set you up for success for your future powder days!
Our guides are gifted educators with a knack for both catering to guests’ experience level and providing useful information to help them feel capable and confident in the backcountry.
In order for you to have a memorable skiing and riding experience, we’ll assist you in navigating the myriad of options for gear, and give strategies, rooted in experience, to stay warm and comfortable. We will help you develop proficiency with uphill and downhill travel techniques, and relay the importance of good communication when forming successful skiing and riding partnerships.
IRIS facilitates an environment to practice these skills, and will supply you with a path to make educated decisions in the backcountry. Come romp in the backcountry!
**Stay and join our “Avalanche Rescue” course on January 15, 2023 for more fun and learning. A great precursor to an Avalanche Level 1.**
**This itinerary is subject to change.
8am: Meet @ Ouray Inn
8:30am-3pm: Touring on Red Mountain Pass
3:30pm Return to Ouray
4:00 pm Trip Wrap-Up / Happy Hour Hang Out
Participants must be solid resort skiers and able to link turns in a variety of snow conditions. Limited backcountry skiing experience is okay.
1 Day of Guided Skiing on Red Mountain Pass
Beacon, Shovel & Probe (encouraged to have your own)
5:1 Guest to Guide Ratio
minimum of 3; maximum of 10
Meals and Personal Snacks
Transportation to/from/while in Ouray
Personal Skiing Clothing
Personal touring equipment: skis, boots, binding, skins, poles (Available to rent at Ridgway Adventure Sports. They DO NOT rent snowboard boots.)
Travel Insurance (highly recommended!)
Incurred costs by leaving a trip early
Incurred costs as a result force majeure
Closest Airports: Montrose (MTJ) & Grand Junction (GJT)
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.
**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. 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 (recommended, 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.**