Welcome to Backcountry Safety Awareness Week 2023!

Get ready for a full week of information and events about how to stay safe and have fun in the backcountry. Scroll down for the schedule of events, as well as daily topics with more information from local backcountry organizations.

Schedule of Events:

Monday, December 11 – Welcome to the New Backcountry

Happy Hour, Raffle, and Backcountry Trivia at RMU Truckee. Event Details.

Tuesday, December 12 – Preparing for the Backcountry

On-Snow Safety Lessons with International Alpine Guides at Donner Pass. Pre-registration required. Event Details.

Wednesday, December 13 – Be a Friend in the Backcountry

On-Snow Intro to Backcountry Touring with Alpenglow Expeditions. Pre-registration required. Event Details.

Sharing the Backcountry Panel at RMU Truckee. Event Details.

Thursday, December 14 – Motors in the Backcountry

Backcountry Film Festival hosted by Tahoe Backcountry Alliance at Alibi’s Incline Public House. Event Details.

Friday, December 15 – Get outside and enjoy!

Women’s specific Intro to the Backcountry Lecture and indoor demo with SheJumps and Alpenglow in Olympic Village. Pre-registration required. Event Details.

Saturday, December 16 – Get outside and enjoy!

Professional athlete panel hosted by Alpenglow Expeditions in Olympic Village. Pre-registration required. Event Details.

Lake Tahoe Snowmobilers monthly meetup and beacon park at Little Truckee Summit. Event Details.

Know before you go:

What is the avalanche risk today? Visit the Sierra Avalanche Center to find out.

Where should you go?

Mike’s Ski Tours is a great resource for local backcountry spots.

Check out Richard Bothwell’s new Tahoe guidebook – “Light Tours of Tahoe”

Stay up to date on weather and travel conditions.

North Lake Tahoe Weather Forecast

Truckee Tahoe Travel Alert

Visit Lake Tahoe Live Conditions

Follow local backcountry etiquette:

Here are some more tips to help you be safe when you’re out:


      • The backcountry is dangerous. Understand that help is far away and your safety is ultimately up to you.

      • There’s essential equipment you need and must know how to use before going into the backcountry.

      • Learn how avalanches happen and how to avoid them. What you don’t know can kill you and others.

      • Understand your local avalanche forecast to help guide your decision-making in the backcountry.

      • Learn about avalanche terrain to maximize your riding while minimizing your exposure to danger.

      • Avalanches are serious and require taking time to educate yourself. There’s always more to learn and this is ONLY A START!

Get the picture.

Before we get into the details, we need to know what the backcountry even is.

Watch the videos from Day 1 HERE

Backcountry Tips and Etiquette from Alpenglow Expeditions & Tahoe Backcountry Alliance

Introduction to the Backcountry


Why you need to be worried: associated dangers & risks

Get the gear. 

Yes. Traveling in the backcountry requires a unique set of safety equipment. In this section, you’ll get an overview of why you need this gear, what you need, and where to learn how to use it.

Also featured in this section are etiquette tips from Tahoe Backcountry Alliance and Alpenglow Expeditions. These tips are essential to know so that everyone can have the back experience possible in the backcountry.

Why you need this gear. 

Backcountry Tips & Etiquette from Tahoe Backcountry Alliance & Alpenglow Expeditions

What to Wear from Alpenglow Expeditions 

Get the training. 

We’ve learned the backcountry is dangerous, a good thing you can learn how to make educated decisions by taking an AIARE Level 1 or other avalanche safety courses.

A video on Judgement & Decision Making provides an in-depth look into the moments that ultimately controls how your day will go.

This is the perfect time to register for a training course!

Where to get training: 

Thanks to Sierra Avalanche Center, you can find every local backcountry education provider on this page: https://www.sierraavalanchecenter.org/education/providers.

Why training matters with Eastern Sierra Avalanche Center 

Daily Flow. 

To return safely from each day in the mountains, you need a risk management process that isn’t burdensome and difficult to follow. Welcome to the Sierra Avalanche Center’s “Daily Flow.” When applied well, the “Daily Flow” is an elegant way to structure your day. It allows for fun in the snow while managing avalanche risk and providing opportunities for lifelong learning.

Backcountry Tips and Etiquette Part 3 with Tahoe Backcountry Alliance & Alpenglow Expeditions

Learn from the Experts

Check out this panel from 2022 about sharing the backcountry with multiple different user groups, as well as how we can all work to increase backcountry access in Tahoe.

Featuring: Cecilia Reed, Liz Moore, Geoff Quine, Todd Wold, and Jen Callahan


What’s a better way to learn about the backcountry than from the best in the business? The 2021 Athlete Summit recording can be viewed below, hosted by Alpenglow Expeditions!

Featuring: Amie Engerbretson, Connery Lundin, Michelle Parker, and Duncan Lee


Motorized Travel Tips & Safety

There are tons of ways to enjoy the backcountry. One of those is by snowmobile or snow bike. Motorized backcountry travelers have a whole slew of safety concerns to pay attention to. This day of Backcountry Safety Awareness Week is for all motorized users, especially those new to the sport.

Where to get educated for motorized use.

Sierra Avalanche Center offers Level 1, Rescue, and Level 2 avalanche classes for motorized users. Interested parties can register for a class through this LINK.

Travel Tips & Safety with Lake Tahoe Snowmobilers. 

Motorized Daily Flow.

To return safely from each day in the mountains, you need a risk management process that isn’t burdensome and difficult to follow. Welcome to the Sierra Avalanche Center’s “Daily Flow.” When applied well, the “Daily Flow” is an elegant way to structure your day. It allows for fun in the snow while managing avalanche risk and providing opportunities for lifelong learning.

Sign up for an AIARE Course

Alpenglow Expeditions Avalanche Courses

Golden State Guiding Avalanche Courses 

Partners and Resources 

 The Tahoe Backcountry Alliance is the voice for the human-powered winter backcountry community in the Lake Tahoe area, advocating for and informing our community about critical issues affecting winter backcountry recreation in and around Tahoe.


Sierra Avalanche Center’s mission is to inform and educate the public about backcountry avalanche conditions in the greater Lake Tahoe area.


Alpenglow Expeditions is the only guide service in Tahoe accredited by the American Mountain Guides Association. Join our professional mountain guides for an inspiring adventure in the Tahoe backcountry, whether it be our industry-leading AIARE 1 courses with both traditional and hybrid options, or a day of powder skiing bliss in the Palisades Backcountry. Give our team a call to discover your options – we’re open 7 days a week in the Village at Palisades Tahoe.

877-873-5376 | AlpenglowExpeditions.com


The Lake Tahoe Snowmobilers is a 501(c)3 run by a group of volunteers committed to winter avalanche safety education and practice, promoting positive backcountry experiences and snowmobile for all backcountry users, and advocating for motorized backcountry experiences and access for all, regardless of health-status, physical abilities, socioeconomic background, or culture. Reach out to [email protected] with any questions or find us at LakeTahoeSnowmobilers.com or
@laketahoesnowmobilers on Facebook and Instagram.

Visit Truckee-Tahoe (VTT) is the 501c6 Destination Marketing & Management Organization (DMMO) for Truckee, California. VTT promotes, protects and enhances Truckee as an authentic mountain town. Sustainable Truckee is a Visit Truckee-Tahoe initiative that promotes stewardship programs and services. Sustainable Truckee programs for winter 2021-22 include Truckee Trail Host Ambassadors, Winter Recreation & Safety Trailhead Signage, Winter Recreation & Safety Map, and Truckee-Tahoe Travel Alert. Learn more at www.visittruckeetahoe.com.

Founded by IFMGA/American Mountain Guide Zeb Blais, Blackbird Mountain Guides offers a full range of mountain adventures and skills courses to up your game in the backcountry.   From AIARE avalanche education and heli-accessed BC lodge ski touring to rock and alpine climbing across the globe, their AIARE and AMGA trained guides can make your mountain dreams a reality. Set up a trip or book a course with them today!


Golden State Guiding is a full service Guide Service in California offering privately guided backcountry splitboarding and skiing programs, AIARE Avalanche Courses, and rock, ice, and alpine climbing programs. GSG is also a 1% for the Planet member and our main beneficiaries are the Eastern Sierra Avalanche Center, Protect Our Winters, Yosemite Conservancy and Friends of Joshua Tree.


For over 40 years IAG/ASI team have been guiding throughout California, as well as on many of the great peaks of the world. As one of the most experienced and oldest guide services in California, we bring to you the highest standards in the mountain guiding industry.

More partners include: UC Davis Tahoe Environmental Research Center, USDA Forest Service Region 5, Tahoe Mountain Sports, Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, Lake Tahoe Community College, Lake Tahoe Snowmobilers, Eastern Sierra Avalanche Center, Tahoe Fund, Outdoor Alliance, Tahoe Sports Hub, North America Ski Training & Climbing, International Alpine Guides, Backcountry Babes, Sierra Mountain Guides, Incline Village General Improvement District, Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority, North Tahoe Community Alliance, Town of Truckee, Nevada Department of Outdoor Recreation, and Sports Basement.