Ski Touring and Nordic Skiing

Ski touring and nordic skiing covers a broad range of trips ranging from park and ski to backcountry ski mountaineering. We use several criteria in our trip descriptions to classify our various types of trips, focusing on round-trip mileage and total elevation gain. No classification system is perfect, and trip difficulties can vary greatly depending on the season and other factors. If after reading the trip description you have any questions about a trip's difficulty, contact the trip leader.

If you are unsure whether your skiing abilities (especially turning and stopping skills) are suitable for a trip, please contact the trip leader.

Ski Touring and Nordic Skiing Trip Classifications

  • Easy I: 1 to 3 miles round trip on generally flat terrain. Suitable for beginners.
  • Easy II: 3 to 6 miles round trip and up to 600 ft. elevation gain.
  • Easy III: 6 to 8 miles round trip or 600 ft. to 800 ft. elevation gain.
  • Moderate I: 800 ft. to 1100 ft. elevation gain.
  • Moderate II: 1100 ft. to 1500 ft. elevation gain.
  • Moderate III: 1500 ft. to 1800 ft. elevation gain.
  • Advanced I: 1800 ft. to 2500 ft. elevation gain, 15-20 miles.
  • Advanced II: Over 2500 ft. elevation gain.

Advanced ski tours are generally over 10 miles on difficult terrain and at a fast pace. To go on an Advanced ski trip, you must be able to break trail for three miles and must have excellent Nordic downhill ability. In addition to the IMR essentials, you should carry a shovel, avalanche beacon, and any extra items required by the leader.


Ski Touring and Nordic Skiing Trips

Ski Tour

We'll spot a vehicle to enjoy a one-way ~11 mile tour on a groomed trail from Banner Ridge down to the Beaver Creek Cabin in the Boise Mountains north of Idaho City. Participants need track skis, daypack, and intermediate level ski skills. The parking area is about a 1.5 hour drive from Boise. Vehicle need Park-n-Ski passes, available for purchase in Idaho City. No dogs, please.

Christmas Eve Ski Tour

Join us for a rejuvenating ski tour in fresh powder. We'll either head up to the Bogus Nordic area ($14 day pass) or one of the Idaho City area Park-n-Ski trails (all vehicles need a Park-n-Ski pass), exact location TBD depending on where we think the best road and ski conditions will be. Track skis are best for this trip, wider ones especially if we end up breaking trail at the Park-n-Ski. Vehicles need snow tires or chains. It'll take between 1 and 1 1/2 hours to reach trailheads from Boise.

Introduction to Backcountry skiing

It's time once again for our annual intro to BC skiing day trip. Join us on Sunday December 13 for an all day outing. Bring a lunch. You are invited to get together afterward for beverages and food. The past several years we've had fun teaching beginning and intermediate backcountry skiers the basics of safe, efficient fun skiing away from the lifts. My plan this year is to use the north edge of the Tamarack Ski Area as our classroom. But I haven't heard from the mountain manager yet with a go/no go permission, so our venue might change. Watch for updates.

Winter Solstice Backcountry Ski Tour

Join us for a day of backcountry skiing, exact destination TBD depending on where we think the best conditions will be. Participants need avalanche beacons (with multiple antennas), probes, shovels, avalanche training, and climbing skins. Telemark gear, alpine touring, or split-boards are all appropriate for this trip. As usual, we'll do beacon checks and snowpack assessment; if you have not been out this season yet, before the trip remember to review all the stuff you forgot over the summer.