Uphill Festival Backcountry Tours

  • Join us on Sunday February 28 on a backcountry or uphill tour during the City of Aspen Uphill Festival....

    Introduction to Backcountry Skiing- This tour is ideal for the accomplished alpine skier that wants to explore skiing the backcountry. Learn the basics from appropriate alpine touring ski equipment to traveling on skis through the winter backcountry. This mini-course is offered for either the entry level uphill skier and/or those who are new to the backcountry. Topics will include: Proper gear choice and use of skins, AT boots, dressing and packing for a day's BC tour, uphill technique/track setting, kick turns, basic route finding... all with access to the Aspen backcountry yet completely avoiding any "Avalanche" terrain. This tour is limited to 6 guests and will meet at the Gondola Plaza at 9:00AM, returning by 2:00PM. Cost is $125/person (plus a lift ticket for the Gondola) and reservations are required at Aspen Expeditions.

    Touring LIGHT and FAST - This tour is designed for the fitness skier that wants to explore efficient ski touring in the backcountry. Just how light is 'right' and how fast is fast enough? With an emphasis on the use and choice of lightweight skis/boots and layering for conditions while covering lots of terrain and quality 'fall-line' skiing. This mini-course offers the optimal performance techniques to shave time, energy and weight without compromising the safety, comfort and ultimately the goal/destination! This tour is limited to 4 guests and requires pre-registration and appropriate gear prior to the tour, so reservations are required at Aspen Expeditions...970-925-7625. Cost is $150/person and the tour will meet at 9:00AM returning by 4:00PM.


  •  Sign up online or please contact us via phone at 970-925-7625 or email/form  to request more information. Custom dates available. (price based on minimum guide ratio of 3:1 and maximum of 4:1 - supplement for more)


  • Duration: Day Tour -  Approx 8:30 am - 2 - 4 pm

    Location: The guide will be in touch with you the day before to determine your meeting place. If you need AT gear call 970-925-7625 to schedule a time to get setup at the backcountry center at Aspen Highlands.

    Maximum Guide Ratio:  4:1 (6:1 on Intro to backcountry skiing)

    Fitness Level: All tours are custom and suited for your physical ability and needs.

    Includes: AMGA trained/certified ski guide, use of avalanche beacon, shovel, probe & ski pack, 3% USFS land use surcharge

    Not included: personal skiing equipment (Alpine Touring (AT) ski, or snowboard equipment (available for demo at $15 discount), single ride lift tickets (discounted day ticket available), lunch/snack food.

  • Prep- Your guide will contact you the day before at the voice number you give us to discuss appropriate terrain for you and to confirm a meeting place and start time.

    You will be provided with a pack w/probe, shovel & avalanche beacon.  If you need alpine touring ski equipment (AT skis, skins, boots) we can arrange to set you up the morning of at 8:30 am at Aspen Highlands shop or the night before between 3:00-5:30 pm. (You will receive a $15 discount.) 

    The Day - Meet your guide at our shop or at a pre-determined lift station. Head up the gondola, lift(s) toward the top of the mountain. The guide will start you on an inbounds ski run for a gear shakedown and beacon/probe/shovel overview. With a short hike or ski tour you will arrive to the drop in zone for a descent.  Depending on the terrain chosen you either ski a long descent down to the valley floor, repeat it if time allows or you ski multiple short descents with short uphill ski tours and if conditions allow a long descent to finish the day. The lunch location is up to you & your guide - You can either lunch along en route or stop at a mountain restaurant. (lunch/snacks are not included)



    The following items are provided for your day tour:

    • Day-tour backpack: (airbag available)
    • Avalanche Transceiver
    • Probe
    • Avy shovel: metal blade is a must

    The following Demo AT rental ski package is available for $15 discount per person ($45 pp):

    • Touring skis or splitboard and boots
    • Climbing Skins: adjusted to skis
    • Ski Poles (adjustable length optional)


    • Socks: Wool or synthetic ski socks
    • Base layers: Synthetic, wool or silk bottom, underwear and top
    • Mid Layer: Synthetic or wool zip shirt
    • Hard Shell or Softshell pants: A pair with side vents are best. 
    • Insulated vest or jacket: down or synthetic. 
    • Hard or Soft shell jacket: waterproof and breathable, no or little insulation. 
    • Gloves: a pair of heavy gloves and a pair of medium weight gloves
    • Hats: one with brim, one for warmth
    • Neck Gaiter or Balaclava: optional, but nice to have
    • Helmet (recommended)
    • Sunglasses
    • Goggles 


    • Water bottle
    • Small thermos: (Optional)
    • Sunscreen and lip balm: water/sweat-proof
    • Headlamp
    • Toiletries, Personal first-aid kit: for your personal meds/needs
    • Camera or Smartphone
    • Lunch/Snack food 
  • Participants will travel through the winter backcountry for field days on skis, splitboard with skins, or snowshoes. Come dressed appropriately with warm layers for moderate physical exertion in cool and wintry weather. 


    It is suggested that you maintain a good level of physical fitness. Maintain and build heart and lung endurance with cardiovascular activities such as swimming, cycling, running and hiking. Hike up hill, up stairs or do squats to prepare your legs for mountain travel.


    Follow a day of lift-served backcountry ski with another ski day, a backcountry ski tour, a backcountry ski camp, hut trip or international ski trip.


    Booking/Cancellation policy: AE requires a full credit card or cash/check payment to hold your reservation. Cancellations made within 7 days of a scheduled course will be charged full price. Travel Guard insurance is available via aspenexpeditions.com website.

    Risk Management

    Please note: AEW's number one priority is your safety. Many conditions affect our guides' decisions in the mountains, including client fitness and comfort, weather conditions and route conditions. There are inherent hazards in mountain travel such as inclement weather, avalanches, rock fall, ice fall that our guides manage yet cannot eliminate. The combination of our guides' formal training and wealth of experience assures that their sound decision create an enjoyable and safe mountain experience. Aspen Expeditions reserves the right to turn around or change routes without refunds or credits under any conditions.