Intro to Backcountry Skiing

Elena Westeinde (coB coS), Kathy Camenzind (C coS), Lulu (Bones) Russell (B coC S), Paul Lilin (B coI coS)
Winter School
Backcountry skiing
Trip level
Trip date
Sunday, January 23rd, 2022
Difficulty rating
Some experience downhill skiing at resorts is required. No backcountry skiing experience required.

Have you ever been skiing and wondered, what would this be like without chairlifts? Have you ever looked at at a ski hill and thought, what if I could ski UPhill? Have you ever reached the top of a hike and wished you didn't have to walk back down? If you answered yes to any of these questions, this trip is for you!

Join Kathy, Bones, and Paul to #earnyourturns on a classic New England ski tour. Along the way, plan to learn a bit about gear, skinning, conditions, and shredding in backcountry terrain.


Some experience downhill skiing at resorts required. You should be comfortable skiing ungroomed and potentially icy snow on moderately steep terrain (think hard blue/easy black at a resort but then make it a sheet of ice in places and super bumpy in others -- ie super fun and awesome!)

No backcountry skiing experience required


MITOC has a great rental fleet of Splitboards and AT (alpine touring) boots and skis. We’ll use skis with pin bindings and frame bindings and teach you how to adjust them to your boot size. We’ll also teach best practices for applying, removing, and storing skins.


No one is making artificial snow for these slopes, so we rely on natural snow to travel in the backcountry. Terrain can be unpredictable - we may encounter obstacles such as water, exposed rocks, and bush. We will practice skiing strategies to navigate these obstacles safely.


We’ll start with our morning at the AMC Pinkham Notch Visitor Center gear room. Once we've discussed our route, we'll put on skins and ascend via the Tuckerman Ravine Trail. At ~2.5 miles, the Tuckerman Ravine Trail reaches the Hermit Lake Hut (a.k.a. HoJo's). At HoJo's we will transition to downhill mode and ski roughly 2 miles down the John Sherburne Ski Trail (a wide backcountry trail with an average slope of 15°, similar to a resort blue run).

Pre-Trip Meeting & Trip Fee

There will be a MANDATORY pre-trip meeting on Thursday (1/20) at 6 p.m. in the MITOC office to get everyone fitted with equipment. There is a flat fee of $25 for all Winter School Ski Trips.


first-come, first-serve
Maximum participants
Signups opened at
Jan. 20, 2022, 12:55 p.m.
Signups closed at
Jan. 20, 2022, 11:59 p.m.
  1. Do you have a backcountry setup or do you need to rent from MITOC?
  2. Ski (downhill), snowboard, or telemark?
  3. How many years have you been skiing or snowboarding?
  4. How often have you skied/snowboarded in the last 3 years: (a) less than 5 times; (b) less than 5 times a season; (c) less than 10 times a season; (d) more than 10 times a season?
  5. How comfortable are you on (Not at all, Somewhat, Very): (a) blues; (b) black diamonds (c) icy snow (d) moguls?
Signups for this trip are closed.