Learn the Skills

Backcountry Stars

High on the flanks of Mount Hayden, with moonlight washing wide-open snowfields and the endless dazzle of the cosmos spinning above, you can lose yourself in the vastness of everything that backcountry ski touring has to offer.

By Jay Cowan February 1, 2014 Published in the Midwinter/Spring 2014 issue of Aspen Sojourner

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You can also learn how to avoid actually getting lost, along with other valuable winter wilderness skills.

Aspen Expeditions, under the ownership and direction of Dick Jackson, a member of the International Federation of Mountain Guides Association as well as the American Mountain Guides Association, has offered guided backcountry ski trips in the area since 1976. The menu includes everything from avalanche courses to lift-accessed backcountry skiing, backcountry hut trips, ski-mountaineering courses, and multiday backcountry ski camps.
For this season, Jackson and his team have added big-mountain skier and guide Fabrizio Zangrilli as program director and upgraded to a more prominent space at Aspen Highlands. They’ve also packed some star power into the camps, which, Jackson says, “combine the highest level of skiing skills with a mountaineering perspective that only a seasoned mountain guide can offer.”

2014’s lineup of camps (see aspen expeditions.com for dates and prices) includes two trips out of Redstone with AEW/IFMGA guide Amos Whiting and Marmot pro Darcy Conover, a deep-backcountry trip with Scarpa pro Heath Paul Featherman, a two-day intro to ski mountaineering camp, an intermediate ski mountaineering camp, and a Star Peak hut trip with rock-star local pro Chris Davenport. Go, and you’ll be earning your turns in esteemed company.

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