Snow Camping and Winter Skills Course


The Donner Party would have loved this 2-day course! Raise your mountain awareness, snow travel, and winter survival skills in the high mountain environment.

This program has a minimum of 2 to run on listed dates at this promotional price. Maximum guiding ratio is 6:1. If you would like to schedule this course on a custom private basis, click here for details.


Snow Camping and Winter Skills Course

Camping in the winter is a beautiful experience! The snowflakes hitting the tent, the steam from a hot brew, the mountain light at it’s finest hue, and the rugged solitude that is the mountains in winter. This course is a great introduction to learning to lead your own incredible winter outings. It is also recommended for winter day trippers who are not sure how they would survive if someone gets injured and the group is forced to spend an uncomfortable night in the backcountry. Our guides teach you how to go light without compromising safety, winter navigation skills, how to build and sleep in a snow shelter, what to eat and how to cook it, and (most importantly) how to stay warm, dry, and comfortable in any conditions! On this two-day course, touring skis with skins or snowshoes work great, along with adequate compatible winter footwear. These skills are critical for any winter hiker, backcountry skier/snowboarder, or budding alpinist!


Additional Information


  • All you need for this course is a sense of adventure and good physical fitness.
  • This course uses skis or snowshoes to travel on snow. Backcountry skis (BC touring skis, AT skis, telemark skis) with skins or medium to large snowshoes designed for backcountry travel will work. Boots must be well insulated, waterproof, and have removable liners. We have snowshoes, poles, winter mountaineering boots, and other items for rent. Click HERE for details about our rental equipment.


  • Group equipment (cooking equipment, tents, etc.)
  • Breakfasts and dinners
  • Permits and land use fees
  • Qualified backcountry guide
  • Avalanche rescue equipment

Not Included :

  • Lunches, snacks, and hot drinks
  • Personal equipment (clothes, winter sleeping bag, skis/snowshoes/poles, backpack, etc.). We have many key items for rent. Click here for details.
TRIP ITINERARY: Snow Camping & Winter Skills
DAY 1 Gear review and packing for an overnight winter expedition. Route and trip planning. Low visibility planning. Winter storm planning and hazard analysis. Approach to a winter camping destination using skis or snowshoes. Location will depend on conditions, but we generally stay close to the Mammoth Lakes/June Lake area and try to maximize the aesthetics of the location and the view. Touring efficiency, tracksetting, routefinding, risk management, campsite selection. Snow shelter construction. Winter campcraft. Emergency shelter considerations. Winter survival.
Winter emergency response. Morning tour. Terrain analysis and routefinding. Whiteout navigation. Basic avalanche awareness and rescue response. Winter emergency evacuation techniques. Break down camp and back to the trailhead.


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