General Info

Join the Section


National Ski Patrol  

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San Francisco Bay Backcountry Skiing Section
SF Bay Chapter, Sierra Club

     David Giese and friends shred in the Selkirks

How to Sign Up

Most trips require contacting the leader by email with information about your previous ski experience. Most trips require specialized equipment and prepayment. The full trip schedule, including leader contact information, may be found by subscribing to the newsletter for $8.00 per year.

To subscribe, send your name, address, work/home phone numbers, email address, previous ski experience, and a check for $8.00 made out to: "Backcountry Ski Section". Send this to:

Backcountry Ski Section
PO Box 1210
Tahoe City, CA 96145

Rating System

  • Beginner - Learning skiing fundamentals. The Backcountry Ski Section does not offer Beginner trips. Instruction and rentals are available at ski resorts and the Sierra Club Clair Tappaan Lodge (530)-426-3632.
  • Adv. Beginner - Moderate skiing ability on gentle terrain. Must be able to negotiate downhill ski slopes at the Intermediate level at most downhill resorts. Requires good aerobic conditioning. Typically 3-7 miles and 500-1500 feet of climb per day.
  • Intermediate - Must climb and descend moderately difficult slopes wearing a pack under mixed snow conditions and be competent with climbing aids. Snow camping ability may be necessary. Typically 7-10 miles and 2000 feet of climb per day.
  • Adv. Intermediate - The same skill level as an Intermediate, but able to climb and descend steeper slopes. Trips may be 10-15 miles and 2500- 4000 feet of climb per day.
  • Advanced - Winter mountaineering. Must be able to climb and descend all types of terrain, including steep peak ascents/descents, and handle all snow conditions with an overnight pack. Trips may be longer than 15 miles and/or more than 4000 feet of climb per day.
  • Expert - Very solid double black diamond downhill skiers with multi-day snow camping experience, Level I avalanche skills, snow climbing using crampons and ice axe, and basic rock climbing skills (Class 3). Trips emphasize skiing steep mountain slopes and couloirs with 5000+ ft of climbing per day.

Skiers must provide appropriate equipment for each trip.

Sierra Club Waivers and Rules

In order to participate on one of the Sierra Club's outings, you will need to sign a liability waiver. If you wish to read a copy of the waiver prior to the outing, please see Sierra Club waiver policy or phone The Sierra Club at (415) 977-5630. The waiver used by the Backcountry Ski Section:

Sheet & Liability Waiver

In the interests of facilitating the logistics of some outings, it is customary that participants make carpooling arrangements. The Sierra Club does not have insurance for carpooling arrangements and assumes no liability for them. Carpooling, ride sharing or anything similar is strictly a private arrangement among the participants. Participants assume the risks associated with this travel.

Trip Schedule 2012-2013

Preliminary schedule

Workshop! Beacon Bonanza

Workshop! Downhill Ski Skills and Lessons

Workshop! Navigation Class

Benson Hut

Bradley Hut

Carson Pass Peak Exploration

Convict Lake and Mendenhall Couloir

Crater Lake National Park, Oregon

Forestdale Ridge

Jakes Peak

Lassen Peak

Lassen Peak National Park

Ludlow Hut

North Lake Tahoe Peaks Trip 1

North Lake Tahoe Peaks Trip 2

Pear Lake Hut

Peter Grubb Hut Trip

Powderhouse Peak

Pyramid Peak

Mt. Ralston

Red Lake Peak

Mt. Rose Peaks

Rubicon Peak

Mt. Shasta

Stevens Peak

Mt. Tallac

Mt. Tom and Elderberry Canyon

Waterhouse Peak