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Introduction to Splitboarding

Escape the confines of the resort

Would you like to become more knowledgeable about backcountry snowboarding?

Our 2 Day Introduction to Splitboarding in the San Juan Mountains is an excellent way for you gain experience on your board in the backcountry. Many snowboarders are either intimidated by backcountry touring or don’t feel they possess the necessary skills to undertake a backcountry tour in the mountains. Completing our course in Colorado’s inspiring San Juan Mountains, will help you to gain confidence in your skills as a backcountry rider, and ensure that you are aware of all the techniques and tools required to pull off a successful tour in the backcountry.

We will cover the latest techniques in all aspects of backcountry travel including, but not limited to the following topics:

  • Powder snow skiing techniques
  • Ascension Techniques
  • Essential Backcountry Equipment
  • Trip and Tour planning
  • Route-finding and planning
  • Team backcountry travel protocols

Come and join us for a truly unforgettable course that will impress upon you just how incredibly fun it is to be out in the wilderness on your snowboard!

JB and I now feel like we can go into the backcountry and safely plan our trip, pick our travel routes and travel techniques and most importantly work together to have a great time out their while being safe……we will be highly recommending that our friends take this course too! - Erin B.

Intro to Splitboarding Itinerary

Day 0

Meet at SJMG office at 1600 for trip intro and finalize paperwork. Hut based course participants will meet at our office and then transfer to the hut after gear checks.

Day 1

Meet at the SJMG office at 0800 and we then drive to the San Juan Mountains to begin the day’s instruction focusing on the topics listed in the previous tab. We’ll return in the early afternoon for a trip and tour planning classroom session to plan out the following days tour. Hut based course participants stay at hut.

Day 2

Full day tour near Silverton/Red Mountain pass. Participants will be expected to carry out the tour and make terrain decisions along the way, with the instructor/guide providing leadership and feedback where necessary.

Backcountry Splitboarding Equipment List

  • Day-tour backpack: Internal frame, 25-40 liters. Guides’ pick: BCA Float 32
  • Splitboard and boots
  • Skins: for aforementioned splitboard
  • Avalanche Transceiver: Guides’ pick: BCA Tracker 2
  • Probe
  • Avy shovel: metal blade is a must


  • Socks: Wool or synthetic ski socks
  • Base layers: Polyester or silk bottom and top
  • Mid-weight top : Synthetic t-shirt and synthetic underwear
  • Shell pants: hard shell or soft shell. A pair with side vents are best. Guides’ pick: OR TrailBreaker
  • Insulated vest: down or synthetic. Guides’ pick: OR Transcendent
  • Hard shell jacket: waterproof and breathable, no insulation. Guides’ Pick: OR Furio
  • Gloves: a pair of heavy gloves and a pair of medium weight gloves
  • Down jacket: optional, but nice to have
  • Hats: one with brim, one for warmth
  • Neck Gaiter or Balaclava: optional, but nice to have
  • Sunglasses
  • Goggles

Other Stuff

  • Sleeping bag: for use on beds at hut
  • Small thermos: Optional, but nice to have
  • Water bottles: 2 liters combined capacity; with bottle insulators. Guides’ pick: Nalgene
  • Sunscreen and lip balm: water/sweat-proof
  • Headlamp
  • Toiletries
  • Personal first-aid kit: for your personal meds/needs; guide will have a large one as well
  • Stuff sacks: for convenient packing
  • Camera
  • Lunch food: Everything you eat between breakfast and dinner. May include: bagels, dried meats, cheese, trail mix, candy bars, peanut butter, etc…
  • Hut Booties/ Slippers
  • Duffel or additional backpack: if your hut necessities will not fit in your touring backpack


Participants should feel competent and comfortable on “Blue” rated runs at ski resorts. Participants should also be in excellent physical condition. We recommend that participants arrive in Durango at least 1 full day prior to traveling with us in the San Juan high country.

1 Before Your Trip

Snowboarding and/or squats: do it. Cardiovascular activities such as running, swimming, and cycling are great to build heart and lung endurance. Taking day hikes with your loaded backpack at a local park will help train your legs for the mileage you will do in the mountains.

2 Follow Up Programs

I just wanted to drop you a note to say that I had a great time with Eitan.  He went out of his way to make sure that I learned a lot, had a great time, and had a chance to really push myself.  He was very knowledgeable, professional, and supportive. - Matt L.

Durango, Colorado: Getting Here

Durango is located in the SW corner of Colorado, at the intersection of the sandstone towers of the desert, and the jagged, San Juan Mountains. A mecca for climbing, hiking, cycling, and foodies; make sure you plan to spend some time in town before and after your SJMG trip.

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rexerFlights: The best option for flying to the area is to fly into Durango – La Plata County Airport. Multiple airline options exist, and most connections originate from Denver, Phoenix, or Dallas. The airport is a 20 minute drive from our office. Many hotels offer a free shuttle pickup. Buckhorn Limousine offers a shuttle as well.

rexerDriving: Below are some approximate driving times if you’d like to drive to Durango. If you plan on renting a car, please consider the winter weather when selecting your vehicle and at a minimum choose something that offers either front wheel or all-wheel drive.

  • Denver, CO: 6 hours
  • Albuquerque, NM: 3 hours

rexerHotels: Durango has a number of great hotels, suites, and vacation rentals for you to stay in while you’re in the area. Give our office a call at 800-642-5389 if you have any questions about what would suite you best for this trip! Below are just a few options catering to different lodging styles and preferences.


Additional Information

  • Cost Includes:

  • Guiding and instruction with an AMGA Certified/Trained Guide
  • Dinner and breakfast are provided for hut based courses
  • Avalanche probe, shovel, and beacon, boots, skis, and climbing skins are available for rent from our shop for an additional cost.

  • Not Included:

  • Hotel costs before, during or after the courses
  • 3% land use surcharge
  • trip cancellation insurance
  • personal climbing, skiing, or camping equipment, or gratuities.
  • Guide gratuity

  • Registration and Cancellation:

  • You will need to fill out our Domestic Registration Form, cancellation policy agreement, and liability waiver, and send it to us with a 50% deposit as early as possible prior to the course date. Balance is due on the first day of the course. Please click on our Registration/Travel link to access the required forms.