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Teen backcountry ski Camp

Acadia Mountain Guides presents a week-long backcountry skiing adventure spanning across the picturesque mountains of Maine and extending into New Hampshire. Drawing inspiration from our successful summer camp program, we are excited to introduce the Teen Backcountry Ski Camp. This seven-day immersive experience visits some of New England’s best backcountry skiing while also including winter camping, avalanche instruction, and a plethora of enjoyable activities.

Commencing in the mountains of Western Maine, our journey will unfold across various backcountry skiing zones, including Greenville, Saddleback, and Sugarloaf. The adventure continues to Mount Washington Valley, renowned as the Northeast mecca for backcountry skiing and riding, for two final days of exhilarating exploration. During the expedition, participants will not only indulge in the thrill of backcountry skiing but also learn new outdoor skills and refine existing ones.

 

Limited to six (6) participants. Register now. 

 Dates Tuition
 February 17 – 23, 2024 $1,600.00

 

Specific Info

General Info

Designed for high school students in grades 9th to 12th, this camp caters to strong intermediate and expert skiers/riders, regardless of their prior backcountry experience. Skiers should be able to safely ski or ride black diamond trails at major ski resorts.

Pre-requisites: Fitness, clothing, and equipment to ski up to 8 miles round trip with a 10-pound pack daily for 7-days.

Commencing in the mountains of Western Maine, our journey will unfold across various backcountry skiing zones, including Greenville, Saddleback, and Sugarloaf. The adventure continues to Mount Washington Valley, renowned as the Northeast mecca for backcountry skiing and riding, for two final days of exhilarating exploration. During the expedition, participants will not only indulge in the thrill of backcountry skiing but also learn new outdoor skills and refine existing ones.

Acadia Mountain Guides has been running youth camps for years, our backcountry ski & avalanche program is the longest-standing provider in the east. With qualified guides who have years of summer camp experience, you’re guaranteed to have tons of fun and learn lots of valuable skills. The leader for this camp will be Rob Benton. Rob has an Associates degree in Outdoor Leadership / Tourism, Is an AIARE Avalanche Course Instructor and will have completed the AIARE Pro II and AMGA Ski Guide Course by the start of the camp. He has worked as ski instructor and was a member of the Mount Washington Avalanche Forecasting Center in 2023-24. Rob is currently assisting with the Carrabassett Valley Academy Backcountry Ski program having lead trips to the Chic Chocs and Iceland. Rob is motivated to get people skiing or riding in the backcountry.

Personal Equipment 

Any gear you may need can be purchased ahead of the course from our gear store – Alpenglow Adventure Sports – where you get a 25% off purchases made prior to the course and up to a week later as well as 15% discount off MSRP for life!!!  Purchases may be made in-store or online. Gear purchased in advance of course can often be brought to you on the course. Alpenglow will also price match any in stock inventory if you find a better deal on the web for the same item. Simply send a link when you are ready to order to shop@alpenglowgear.com.

Ski or Ride Equipment

  • Skis or splitboard with alpine touring setup
  • Adjustable ski poles
  • Appropriate, warm AT or snowboard boots
  • Skins for skis or board
  • Skin wax glob stopper
  • Compass with baseplate
  • Mountaineering ice axe (provided if needed)
  •  Crampons  (provided if needed)
  • Avalanche equipment – transceiver, probe, shovel (provided if needed) 

Clothing

  • soft shell
  • soft shell pants
  • 2 base layer long sleeve shirts (wool or synthetic) 
  • 2 base layer pants (wool or synthetic) 
  • Sock liners and / or vapor barrier sock
  • 1 fleece top or similar mid weight base layer
  • 2 prs of ski socks
  • Heavy gloves
  • light gloves (soft shell, windstopper)
  • Mittens with water resistant shell
  •  Winter hat covering your whole head 
  • Balaclava
  • Ski hat/helmet
  • Medium weight jacket or vest
  • Down coat/puffy/insulation layer
  • Goggles
  • Sunglasses

Camping / Personal Equipment

  • Personal lightweight Sol style bivy sack or heavy-duty plastic bag
  •  -20-degree sleeping bag  (rental available)
  • EVA 1/2” foam full-length ground pad (rental available)
  • EVA 1/4” foam pad 3/4 length or ThermaRest ground pad (rental available)
  • Headlamp with spare batteries (rental available)
  • Unbreakable bowl, insulated cup, & spoon
  • Personal toiletries, sunscreen, & lip balm
  • 2 Insulated, wide-mouthed, water bottles or thermos
  •  30 – 40 l pack ski/ride pack that you can attach skies or split board to
  • 2-4 nylon stuff sacks to sort and organize gear
  • A second pair of winter boot when not in ski boots
In Town Wear
  • Pants
  • Shirt
  • Shorts
  • T shirt
  • Socks

There is always the opportunity to learn while on a trip with Acadia Mountain Guides.  While the primary focus of this trip is to ski or ride some of the best snow in the northeast, there are plenty of skills to be learned depending on your interests such as:

  • Developing backcountry tour plans both digitally or with tried and true map and compass
  • Developing winter camping skills
  • Practicing effective companion rescue
  • Skinning skills – kick turns, edging, etc
  • Carrying it all – how to set up you ski pack
  • Improving downhill ski technique
  • Practicing travel skills in avalanche terrain
  • Any number of winter travel skills
  • Improving your avalanche awareness

Each day we will choose appropriate ski objectives based on weather, snow and avalanche conditions, and personal interest. Here is a sample itinerary.

Day 1: Meet in Bangor, ME. Gear shakedown. Travel to Greenville, ME. Shake down tour on Big Moose Mountain. Evening tour planning, avalanche training.  

Day 2: Full Day tour or laps to top of Big Moose working on uphill techniques – track setting, pacing, kick turns, track cutting. Continued avalanche training.

Day 3 – 4: Tour at Saddleback, Sugarloaf or Black Mountain. Work on basic ski mountaineering skills – ski anchors, simple belays.

Day 5: Glade skiing. Practice companion rescue skills. 

Day 6: Mount Washington. East side. Use of crampons and ice axe. Consider summit climb and ski descent. 

Day 7: Mount Washington. West side tour on Cog and Ammonoosuc Ravine. Travel back to base.

 

Some nights will be spent camping and others in hostel  or AirBNB style lodging. Winter camping will be in shared tents provided by Acadia Mountain Guides. 

Meal preparation will be done as a team with the guide providing guidance. Meals will be nutritious and well balanced using locally sourced products when possible. AMG is able to accomodate plant forward and vegan needs. 

No one starts the day expecting to get hurt in the backcountry. However, despite all we know and all we do, accidents can still happen. At AMG, we take your medical care seriously. Like many guide services, our leaders are trained as Wilderness First Responders; many are WEMTs. Additionally, all our regular employees participate in periodic medical skills review with our owner Jon, an IFMGA/AMGA Mountain Guide, flight paramedic / RN and lead instructor in wilderness medicine. Additionally, on courses traveling to remote areas such as Katahdin, Chic-Chocs, or Mount Washington, you can expect our guides to have pain and sedation medications available if needed.

Spend your season out skiing in riding, a good amount of uphill travel throughout your season will help you be prepared for this trip. 

A generally good level of fitness is required for this trip you can expect to spend the majority of your day out in the mountains ascending and descending.

This trip will meet assemble at our store location in Bangor, ME. Campers may be picked up in Gorham, NH or Bangor, ME.

Enjoying the outdoors necessitates a certain degree of risk-taking. You are participating in this trip and entering the winter backcountry environment at your own risk.  You are choosing to engage in an activity in which participants have been injured and killed. While such accidents are rare, they may occur at any time and be out of our control. Our guides draw upon solid guide education coupled with extensive experience to manage significant hazards inherent to mountain travel.  Some of the hazards that can lead to injury or death associated with this trip include but are not limited to extreme weather, demanding physical travel, avalanche, vehicle transportation and falls or collisions while skiing or snowboarding. Please be sure that you are fully aware of such risks. It is our goal to interpret the environmental, situational and group variables and to make educated decisions to minimize dangers to you while at the same time providing an enjoyable and memorable experience.

Ultimately, it is your responsibility to minimize various hazards through the application of good judgment gained from a foundation of education and experience. On this course we ask that you ski or ride with good control at all time.

Self-reliance in the face of adversity is expected on the part of the wilderness traveler entering the wilderness. Rescue is not automatic. For all practical purposes, our party is alone and must depend upon our own resources for self-rescue and be equipped for an extended emergency. Cellular phones and radios should not be relied upon in an emergency.  

Finally, this is a group trip and good expedition behavior is critical. Participants are asked to stay with the group until everyone has safely exited the backcountry.

Full Payment is required upon registration.

See cancellation policy below in regards to cancellations.

Cancellation: 

When you book a course with Acadia Mountain Guides you are agreeing to our cancellation policy. Please realize that if your travel does not go according to plan in any way and for any reason, we are unable to provide credits or refunds outside of what is described below. We strongly recommend that you purchase trip insurance to protect your activity purchase against unforeseeable circumstances which include but are not limited to:

  • Anticipation of Inclement Weather
  • Flight and Travel Delays and Conditions
  • Personal or work schedule changes
  • Injury or illness of self or family member
If you cancel more than 21 days in advance you may put the deposit toward a future course or receive a refund of 50% of your deposit. Cancellations made within twenty-one (21) days of program forfeit full tuition rate. Alternatively, if you find a replacement you will receive a 100% refund. A full refund will be given if Acadia Mountain Guides Climbing School must cancel the course.

Inclement weather is to be expected at this time of year. Snow is what we want. Please adjust your travel plans to accommodate weather and travel conditions.

We aim to ski for five days but do not promise five days of skiing, the weather in Iceland can be such that visibility or avalanche conditions do not allow for safe skiing. On those days we aim to provide you with other experiences in Iceland exploring the land and the culture.

Tipping is never expected but always greatly appreciated. Like many in service industries, instructors and guides supplement their income with tips generated from satisfied clients.

There are several potential summits we can reach and areas we could potentially travel in. We will make every reasonable effort to reach desired summits and provide great lines of descent, however, extreme weather, avalanche conditions, inadequate personal fitness, difficult terrain, or park weather / travel closures may make it impossible to achieve our desired summit or descent objectives.

A minimum of four (4) participants are needed to run this program and there is a maximum of seven (7). The decision to run the program will be made at three weeks prior to the start date. In the case of low registration, you will have the options of joining another trip, receiving a refund or possibly paying an additional amount to allow the trip to run with low numbers.

Are you part of a college organization, ski club, etc.? We are happy to schedule a customized course for organizations, small groups, and individuals through New England and Eastern Canada. Of course, if you would like to schedule a course or trip in Iceland, Colorado, or Japan, etc. we would be very pleased to work with you.

Acadia Mountain Guides Climbing School is certified through the American Mountain Guide Association and the Professional Climbing Instructor Association. Acadia Mountain Guides actively supports furthering their guide’s development throughout their career. That means our guides are constantly taking steps to progress their skills and will provide you with an exceptional experience. AMG is also a proponent of helping clients reach their goals, whether its having an epic day in the mountains or gaining skills to get into other terrain, Acadia Mountain Guides Climbing School can get you there.

A History of
Leading the way…

Acadia Mountain Guides Climbing School is the preeminent frontrunner in climbing instruction and guiding in Acadia and across Maine. Since 1994 we have specialized in designing customized experiences or training for you, your family, your group or company.

Jon Tierney
Owner, Acadia Mountain Guides, AIARE Level I & II Course Leader
IFMGA/AMGA International Mountain Guide | AMGA Ski Mountaineering Guide | AMGA Alpine Guide | AMGA Rock Guide | AMGA Rock and Alpine Instructor / Examiner 1997 – 2007 | AIARE Level III Avalanche Certification | AIARE LI & LII Course Leader | Flight and Critical Care Paramedic | Professional guide since 1983, climber and skier since 1975 | American Avalanche Association and AMGA Professional Member | Registered Maine Guide
Albert Mandell
AIARE Level I & II Course Leader
AMGA Assistant Ski Guide | AIARE Level III Avalanche Certification | AIARE LI & LII Course Leader | Wilderness First Responder
almandellAl Mandell
Rob Benton
AIARE Level I & II Course Instructor
AIARE Professional Level I | AIARE Level I & II Instructor | AMGA Apprentice Alpine Guide | AMGA Single Pitch Instructor | Swift Water Canoe Guide | Wilderness First Responder | Maine Search and Rescue | Associates Degree in Outdoor Recreation and Tourism |
Rob Bentonrobbenton_
Benjamin Allen
AIARE Level I & II Course Instructor
AIARE Pro 1 Avalanche Certification | AIARE L1 & L2 Course Instructor | Wilderness First Responder | Professional Ski Patroller
Mark Renson
AIARE Level I & II Course Instructor
American Avalanche Institue Level III Certification | Canadian Avalanche Association AST-2 | Senior Outdoor Emergency Care Certified | Proffesional Ski Patroller
Mark P. Renson
Benjamin Mirkin
AIARE Level I & II Course Leader
AIARE III Certification | AIARE Level I, II & Rescue Course Leader | AMGA Rock Instructor | AMGA Ice Instructor | AMGA Apprentice Alpine and Ski Guide | Ph.D. in Education
Benjamin Mirkin
Cord Farmer
AIARE Level I & II Course Instructor
AIARE Pro 1 Avalanche Certification | AIARE L1 & L2 Course Instructor | Wilderness First Responder | B.A. in Sports & Recreation Management | M.A. in Sports Psychology

AMGA ACCREDITED

• Since 1994 •

AMGCS is one of 32 AMGA accredited programs in the US and was one of the earliest to pursue and achieve accreditation. AMGCS is the only climbing school in Maine to remain continuously AMGA accredited. We have had one or more full time AMGA rock guides on staff each year since 1994.

 
IFMGA Led
 
Owned by internationally recognized IFMGA/AMGA Mountain Guide Jon Tierney who has been climbing in Acadia since 1982. Jon has over 30 years of local and worldwide experience. The IFMGA requires full AMGA certification as a rock, alpine and ski mountaineering guide.

PCIA Accredited

• Since 2007 •

AMGCS has the distinction of also being accredited to the highest standards of the Professional Climbing Instructors Association. The PCIA requires all staff to be individually trained and certified.

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Become a client of Acadia Mountain Guides and receive a permanent 15% off MSRP on purchases in our stores or at AlpenglowGear.com.

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Gear Rental Program

AMGCS also rents outdoor equipment for your convenience. All clients receive 25% off rental equipment for use on our courses.
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