I'm interested in eventually moving to more backcountry oriented trips out west, like CAT riding for example. Would like to do this properly instead of just being a douche that falls down a tree well in slackcountry. Are there any courses or clinics in the Vail Breckenridge area that someone can do some avalanche safety and learn backcountry skills? Seems like something like this should exist to keep the mortality rates down, but Google has not been helpful in this regard.
If not necessarily in this area, if there is a good camp or clinic in North America in general I might be able to do a separate trip for that if its worth it.
As a resort rider who wants to get out there more any suggestions are greatly appreciated.
There are probably a dozen or more located in and around the Front Range, Vail, Summit County.
Alpine World Ascents is a solid one. Universally recognized as one of the best avalanche schools out there.
A good number of the cat operators will have a Level 1 avalanche course you can do with their guides and get some (limited but still) turns in while you are at it. You'll have to chat with the operator to see if they offer it.
Thanks very much for that. Do the avalanche courses teach you any riding specific skill sets, or is it just snow safety and recovery? Meaning, I'd also like get an overview of actually riding out back, split decks, how to snowshoe properly, learn how to handle a sled, reading terrain, basically the works.
They teach the principals on how to evaluate and travel safely in avalanche terrain. Some guys might have an intro to splitboarding. I've seen a few, but overall that sort of thing is up to you to get the skills on. It's not that hard either. You just need to get out there.
As far as snowshoeing goes. Let me give you an advanced course. Strap snowshoes on your feet. Walk. Not much too it really.
Snowmobiles, I'd say look for a club. Most poeple I know who do it has been baptism by fire. Lot's of digging stuck sleds and learning techniques on the fly.