Level I – Introduction to Backcountry Skiing

Powder Skiing Colorado - Level I - Steamboat PowdercatsThe Level I tour is our most important level for many reasons. It is the introduction to the backcountry experience for people who have not yet experienced it. It helps you work toward what everyone craves: powder, faces shots and the camaraderie of skiing in a small group on ungroomed fresh snow terrain.

At this level, we will ski mostly gentle, open zones or runs with sparse trees with minor access into avalanche terrain. Your guides offer some instruction, assistance with technique and tips for you to gain more confidence in your powder skiing/riding ability. This isn’t a true powder clinic like you’d find at a ski area but your guides will outline you with several tips and do their best to advance your skills throughout the day.

Skiers and snowboarders at this level are strong intermediates or advanced skiers/riders who:

  • have limited powder experience
  • are confident on all blue runs and also will ski/ride black runs on a lift served ski area
  • are comfortable making linked, smooth, controlled parallel turns
  • are beyond any wedge type or pizza style of skiing technique
  • as a snowboarder you can make fluid heel to toe turns, no falling leaf, you can traverse and can stop on both your heel and toe sides
  • have skied or snowboarded more than 30 times (WE CANNOT TAKE BEGINNER TYPE SKIER/RIDERS ON OUR TOUR AS YOU WILL SUFFER IN THE UNTRACKED POWDER)
  • enjoy new challenges
  • seek to build your powder confidence

Powder Skiing Colorado - Steamboat PowdercatsFor all first time guests who visit us on our Level I tour, we guarantee you will be satisfied with your experience. So much that if your experience isn’t up to par we will give you your money back. Check here for details.

Unlike the ski area experience where tracks, chop
and bumps quickly trash the fresh powder after a few runs, the terrain on Buffalo Pass usually holds snow for weeks after a storm and you’ll be mostly skiing or riding on untracked or mildly tracked snow throughout the day. 
This untracked experience is the name of the game for us and what you as a level I skier or rider would love to experience over and over again.

snowcat-skiing-steamboat-level-oneOur Level I and Level II trips utilize the same pick ups and drop offs on a variety of ridge lines on Buffalo Pass.  Our Level I groups stay mostly out of the aspen forests while sticking to the open glades in blue/black type terrain pitch.  Whist our Level II groups are all already confident in powder and comfortable in trees, our Level I’ers need a little more open terrain to gain confidence and to figure out the powder turn before heading into steeper or thicker treed zones.

Our guides will do their best to start in open and gentle terrain (snow depending) and assess the group.  If, as the day progresses and the group is capable, our snowcat-skiing-steamboat-level-one (5)guides then have the flexibility to step up the terrain choices and head into possibly steeper or more treed terrain.  Lots of factors play into this but it is all of our goals to get better and challenge each other if willing.

Remember that we provide you with complimentary, fat Armada ski’s and Never Summer snowboards designed for powder.  These tools help with the float and making your turns pop in the powder. We also provide poles with bigger baskets that help you in the untracked snow.

If you are visiting us with a group, please place your crew into the ability level that will match your guest with the least amount of skill.  It is way better for you as more advanced guests to be with your friend who isn’t as good in a lower ability level than the other way around.

Here is a blog post regarding tip and techniques on how to learn how to powder ski: http://www.steamboatpowdercats.com/how-to-ski-powder/

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