Backcountry Skiing and Snowboarding

Come see Colorado from a different perspective with Kling Mountain Guides.  Red Mountain Pass, Silverton and the San Juan Mountains of Southwestern Colorado have some of the best backcountry skiing in the lower 48 states.  Come see for yourself why so many ski movies are filmed here and Olympic gold medalists train here.  Let our expert guides and educators take you into the San Juans.

Our programs are designed to accommodate all experience levels and skiing background. Whether you’re a seasoned resort veteran looking to try the backcountry for the first time, an experienced backcountry enthusiast who wants somebody to show you the hidden powder stashes, or want to ski the big line off the big peak, our ski guides have what it takes to put together you custom San Juan ski tour.  Are you interested in private instruction in a certain backcountry topic? We can do that!

Private Instructional Topics

  • Avalanche Awareness
  • Avalanche Transceiver Use
  • Companion Rescue
  • Pre-trip planning and preparation
  • Winter navigation (GPS, map, compass, altimeter use)  and route planning
  • Backcountry equipment selection and use

Our high-country tours of the San Juans will impress any backcountry skier! There is a lifetime worth of skiing to do in Juans, but here is a short list of some of the classic tours in the area:

Sample Ski Tours

  • The Backyard
  • Trujillos Steps
  • Sam’s Run
  • The Cemetery
  • The Pumphouse
  • The Pencil
  • The Python
  • Battleship
  • Banana Chute
  • Many, many more!

Price Includes

Price Does Not Include

  • Travel to Durango/Silverton, Colorado from you location
  • Travel to trailhead from Durango or Silverton
  • Backcountry touring equipment; skis, skins, packs etc.  These are all available to rent from our partner shop Backcountry Experience.  Additional fees may apply.  Please inquire for more information.
  • Items of personal nature
  • Individual travel costs, delays, etc.
  • Excess baggage fees
  • Personal clothing or gear
  • Alcoholic drinks and personal snacks
  • Hotels before, during, and after trip
  • Recommended Travel/trip cancelation insurance
  • Guide/ Staff gratuity


  • Powder skis/ Splitboard/ snowboard with Snowshoes: : You will need backcountry skiing equipment that allows flexibility for the up and the down.  Backcountry Experience in Durango has a large demo fleet of the latest powder touring equipment.
  • Alpine Touring ski boots:  You will want a touring boot that has a great walk mode.  The Black Diamond Quadrant is our choice.
  • Adjustable Ski Poles: The Black Diamond Razor Carbon ski pole is a great all around ski pole.
  • Avalanche beacon: We recommend the Backcountry Access Tracker 2 beacon.  We will provide you one free of charge, but you are welcome to bring your own digital beacon.
  • Avalanche Shovel: We recommend the Backcountry Access B1-EXT shovel.  We will provide you one free of charge, but you are welcome to bring your own.
  • Avalanche Probe: We recommend the Backcountry Access Stealth 260 Carbon probe.  We will provide you one free of charge, but you are welcome to bring your own
  • Ski Socks: Synthetic fabrics or wool work best.
  • Wicking Baselayer Bottoms: Midweight synthetic or wool bottoms long underwear worn for moisture management. Patagonia Capilene 2 or Wool 2 are very good.
  • Ski Pants/ Shell Pants: Your normal ski pants will work great. The Mountain Hardwer Drystein  are a great option.
  • Wicking Base layer Tops: Midweight synthetic or wool tops long underwear worn for moisture management. Patagonia Capilene 2 or Wool 2 are very good.
  • Insulating Shirt: Expedition weight fleece or wool top worn for warmth.
  • Ski Jacket: A normal ski jacket will work fine. We recommend the Mountain Hardwear Kepler Jacket.
  • Insulating Jacket: Used for warmth when we take breaks.  The Mountain Hardwear’s Hooded Compressor is a great choice.
  • Ski Pack: A 25-35 liter ski pack. All of our ski guides and avalanche instructors ski with the Backcountry Access Float 32.  This is not only a great ski pack, but a great safety device as well.
  • Sunglasses: Must block 100% UVA/UVB. Models with side shields are best on glaciers. The Julbo Advance is a great model.
  • Light Gloves: A lightweight, dexterous glove for temperatures around and above 32 degrees.
  • Heavy Gloves: A warm glove for skiing in cold or stormy conditions. A modular design is best, where the liners are removable for drying.
  • Warm Hat: Synthetic fabrics or wool work best.
  • Goggles: Light lenses are best for flat light conditions.
  • Sunscreen: SPF 30 or greater.
  • Lip Balm: SPF 30 or greater
  • Water bottles or hydration system: 2 liters capacity is good.


  • Skiers should be in good physical condition.
  • There are a lifetime of ski tours with different difficulties in the San Juans.  Please get in touch with us to talk about what tour is right for you.  If need be, we would like to ski with you prior to Colorado tour to help ensure that you are up to the challenge.
  • If you do not possess these skills or need review, we recommend doing a skills course with us prior to your.

Sample Itinerary:

  • Meet at your hotel in Silverton at 7:30 AM.  After finishing paperwork and doing a final equipment check, we’ll head out to ski.  This a lifetime worth of ski tours avaialbel to us. From steep chutes, to big bowls, tree runs, to mellow tours.  We’ll ski all day and be back in town for drinks.
  • Sample Tours Include:
    • The Backyard
    • Trujillos Steps
    • Sam’s Run
    • The Cemetary
    • The Pumphouse
    • The Pencil
    • The Python
    • Battleship
    • Banana Chute
    • Many, many more!

Registration & Cancelation

  • Unfortunately, due to extremely high demand we have a very strict registration and cancelation policy. We can not transfer you to an other program. WE HIGHLY RECOMMEND PURCHASING TRAVEL INSURANCE! We recommend the TravelEx Insurance Travel Select plan with the Adventurer Plus Pak upgrade.
  • To reserve your spot on a domestic climbing or skiing program please fill out the enclosed application and return it to us along witha 50% deposit if applying more than 60 days out. If your trip/ course starts in less than 60 days please submit full payment.
  • Program fees are non-transferable. If notice of cancellation is given in writing at least 60 days prior to the trip start date, you will be refunded your fulldeposit except for a $50 processing fee.
  • If notice of cancellation is given in writing within 59 – 30 days prior to the trip start date, a cancellation fee equal to the deposit amount will be charged. If notice of cancellation is given in writing less than 30 days prior to the trip start date, a cancellation fee equal to 100% of the program fee will be charged.



Daily Nov – May. Advanced registration required.


One day to as long as you want


Red Mountain Pass, Molas Pass, Silverton, CO


$440 for 1:1 $275 / person for 2:1 $210 / person for 3:1 $200 / person for 4:1

Client to Guide Ratio

Up to 6:1 skier to guide ratio


Beginner to expert

Kling Mountain Guides is a proud partner of Aspen Expeditions Worldwide

phone: 970.460.6065
(Aspen office: 970.925.7625)

*KMG operates under special use permits in the San Juan National Forest, Silverton BLM, Moab BLM, Indian Creek BLM, Manti-La Sal National Forest, Cedar Mesa Grand Gulch BLM, Mt. Rainier National Park, areas. Kling Mountain Guides LLC provides services and employment regardless of ethnic or cultural heritage, religious beliefs, sexual orientation or physical handicap.