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Backcountry skills and powder skiing in Cooke City

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By Tyler Allen Explore Big Sky Associate Editor
COOKE CITY – Beartooth Powder Guides is offering a backcountry skills course south
of Cooke City, Jan. 24-26. The course is meant to bridge the gap between basic
avalanche awareness classes and the science-heavy Avalanche I and II courses,
according to BPG owner Ben Zavora.
“This is a hands-on, more practical decision-making course,” Zavora said. “[It’ll] be
a lot less science than certification classes – more route finding, decision making,
putting in skin tracks and safe backcountry protocol with partners.”
The course includes three nights of accommodation at BPG’s Woody Creek Cabin in
the Hayden Creek drainage, all meals and course materials.
Participants must be physically fit, have taken a basic avalanche or Avalanche I
course, and are expected to bring a sleeping bag and the necessary backcountry
equipment – touring skis or a splitboard, skins, beacon, probe and shovel.
The Hayden Creek drainage in the North Absaroka Wilderness offers a wide range of
terrain and aspects to ski, and is nestled between the 11,000-foot-plus Pilot and
Index peaks and 9,987-foot Republic Mountain.
In addition to learning good decision-making skills in the backcountry, Zavora said,
students will experience three days of Cooke City powder skiing.
Contact Beartooth Powder Guides to register at (406) 838-2097 or

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