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Home » Classes » CMC Classes and Schools » Ski Mountaineering School


Ski Mountaineering School


If you are interested in taking your downhill skiing skills and backcountry ski experience to the peaks and high mountains, the Ski Mountaineering School (SMS) offered by the Colorado Mountain Club may be for you. The Ski Mountaineering School is intended to develop the skills, attitudes, and awareness needed for ski mountaineering tours, such as 13′er and 14′er ski descents in Colorado and ski traverses and ski mountaineering routes in Europe and Canada. Some of the topics covered include planning and preparation, ski gear and equipment, ski techniques, route finding, and avalanche assessment.


  • Steep ski skills (black diamond) in varied terrain and snow conditions, including ascending and descending in controlled manner. No need to be a “ripper”, but skiing in full control in all snow conditions is important.
  • Fitness and stamina to climb/travel at 1000’/ hr and 3 mph on skis for 3000+ foot, 3-5 mile ascents.
  • Experience with traveling on skins (ski or splitboard) in mountain terrain for at least 1 full season including at least 1 CMC ski outing or the Boulder group ski touring seminar (
  • AIARE avy 1 in last 5 years; BMS snow travel class, or similar experience (crampon, axe and snow climbing skills/experience); 2 or more seasons of backcountry ski travel, or numerous current season outings plus concurrent enrollment in Boulder group CMC backcountry ski clinic (Feb/Mar, 2020),
  • First aid or WFA. Modern AT or tele skiis or splitboard, with functional and comfortable boots and modern free pivot bindings, full width skins, and ski crampons. Some of these can be rented/demo-ed, but self- owned is expected before end of season for familiarity, efficiency, and safety in the later bigger outings, Modern 3-antenna beacon, shovel and probe, and know how to use them. Ice axe and boot and ski crampons, and the skills to use them properly.

Registration is by application only. Skiers without more than one full season of back country ski experience are required to be concurrently enrolled in the boulder group advanced ski touring course.


2021 Schedule:

All 3 evening ZOOM lectures, as well as the first field outing are mandatory.  At least 5 of the 10 one day field trips, and one of the 2 multi day field trips are also required for successful completion of this class.

April 1, Thursday, SMS ZOOM Lecture #1, 6:00 – 9:00 pm______________Virtual

Apr 3 Saturday, Saturday, SMS Field Trip #1_________________________Vasquez pk/ pk 12,090

April 8, Thursday, SMS ZOOM Lecture #2, 6:00 – 9:00 pm______________Virtual

April 10, Saturday, SMS Field Trip #2_______________________________Bear Lake/ Flatop Mtn/Hidden Valley

April 15, Thursday, SMS ZOOM Lecture #3, 6:00 – 9:00 pm_____________Virtual

April 17, Saturday, SMS Field Trip #3_______________________________Citadel/ Pettingel Peaks

April 24, Saturday, SMS Field Trip #4_______________________________RMNP- Ptarmigan Gl/ Taylor peak

May 1 Saturday, SMS Field Trip #5_________________________________Greys/ Torries Peaks

May 8, Saturday, SMS Field Trip #6_________________________________RMNP

May 15, Saturday, SMS Field Trip #7________________________________Greys + Torries peaks

May 22- 25, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, SMS Multi-day Field Trip #1____Lake City 14ers

May 29-31 Friday PM, Saturday, Sunday, SMS Multi-day Field Trip #2_______Mt Sopris / Indy Pass


Registration is by application only. The cost of the school is $300.

For more information please contact this year’s Director John Morrone at: For general information, please contact CMC Member Services at (303) 279-3080 x2 or

Ski Mountaineering School is no longer accepting applications for the 2021 year.

Application:  2021 Ski-Mountaineering-School-Student-Application Please fill out and email to, then click here to sign-up for CMC’s Ski Mountaineering School.

Those 2020 accepted candidates that did not receive a refund are automatically entered into the 2021 course.

Applications to be reviewed in February, and best candidates will be chosen and notified before March 1.

REFUND POLICY: Requests must be made in writing to school director.  50 percent refund, less cost of materials received. No refund on day course begins or after. (revised as of 10/2016).