Winter Programs

Rocky Mountain National Park and the Estes Valley are national destinations for winter sports and outdoor education. While the mountains in winter can pose serious and very real dangers to the unwary, with the right equipment, guidance, and local knowledge, back-country travelers can enjoy and experience the beauty of Rocky Mountain National Park in winter.

KMAC guides are experts on the local terrain in Rocky Mountain National Park. Hiring a guide  is one of the best ways to maximize your time and learn about the latest equipment, current snow conditions, and where to go. Whether your goal is to learn how to enjoy our mountains in winter, or if you have a specific destination in mind, we are here to help. Please contact KMAC to hire a guide or to seek advice or information on local conditions.

 


Snow Shoeing

1 Person–$155.00
Large groups? Contact Us

Winter outings can be overwhelming to a first-timer. The large amount of necessary equipment, determining weather and snow conditions, and where to go can seem daunting.  The consequences for mistakes in any of these categories can turn a winter outing into an adventure that may become very difficult and unpleasant.   With the help and expertise of a KMAC guide, these issues can be avoided. Our goal is your enjoyment and learning.  Your guide will share with you their local knowledge and expertise not only from the technical side, but also their knowledge of Rocky Mountain National Park.

For those with aspirations of going higher and perhaps seeking a winter summit adventure, let KMAC suggest an outing based on your goals. Please contact KMAC to schedule your outing.


Backcountry Ski School

1 Person–$240.00
Large groups? Contact Us

Ask any local outdoor enthusiast and they’ll tell you that backcountry skiing and splitboarding are the best winter sports to be had in the front range. Tucked into a magic nook of RMNP is the Hidden Valley Ski Area (lifts removed in ’92).  Graced with consistent powder, easy access, and low avalanche danger, it makes for an awesome transition from resort skiing to backcountry touring.

At KMAC we love seeing people discover that they don’t need lifts to ski.  All you need is the ability to ski blue runs at ski resorts and a willingness to walk up gentle hills. Our experienced, locally-based guides will take you on a beautiful tour through snow-covered forests and mountains while teaching the many skills that make backcountry skiing so fun. We will instruct on “skinning” techniques (going uphill), equipment use, basic avalanche awareness, how to pack/stay warm, and most importantly we’ll have a really good time.

KMAC guides will share their local knowledge and experience not only from the terrain and equipment side, but also their interpretive knowledge of Rocky Mountain National Park. Our goal isn’t just to have one great day, but to teach you to be responsible, safe, and knowledgeable long after you come out with us. We want to help create a safe and healthy culture in the backcountry.

We suggest Alpine Touring (AT), splitboard, or telemark equipment (snowshoes with skis/board not recommended). Call us to get our input on the newest and best gear.

Included in the cost is all necessary avalanche safety equipment. We also highly recommend doing a day like this before you attend one of our AIARE 1 courses!

The Mountain Shop located in Estes Park is our rental supplier.

Notes on skiing with a guide: skiing with a guide can be a lot of fun although a few things may be a bit different than skiing around your local area with friends. A few tips for traveling with a guide on skis are discussed below.

Your guide’s job is basically to help you maximize the fun, travel efficiently, and minimize the risks associated with traveling in the mountain environment. They will help you with your gear and take the necessary steps to complete your tour and ascent. They will assess and teach you about local avalanche conditions. Backcountry skiing is much slower than resort skiing, this fundamentally changes things, but one big advantage this gives is that groups is very diverse skill levels can get out together.

We offer custom courses at a discounted rate for your school/work/friend group, give us a call to find out more!


Cross Country Skiing

Introduction to Cross Country Skiing in Rocky Mountain National Park for all ages and abilities.

Join a Kent Mountain Adventure Center guide to discover the fun and freedom of cross country skiing. With the incredible winter views and trails for all abilities, your guide will share their expertise about proper equipment use and the unique winter environment. Perfect for the whole family!


Flattop Mountain Snow Shoe Ascent

A full day ascent of a mountain in winter! Ski or snowshoe to
the top of Flattop Mountain. This day is an adventure with lots
of learning about winter travel in Rocky Mountain National
Park. We’ll get above tree line following a winter trail eventually
venturing onto some lower angled snow slopes just below the top.
You won’t want to miss out on the winter views that will bring you
to awe in every direction you look!


Introduction to Ice Climbing

Book Now
1 Person–$240.00
2 People–$480
3 People–$720
4 People–$960
Large groups? Contact Us

You’ll work with state of the art ice tools in this one day outing. Starting with proper crampon techniques, we’ll advance to single and multiple ice axe use.

Only after being comfortable with these newly acquired skills will we venture into steeper ground. You’ll have the opportunity to learn about ice screw placement, and get on some vertical ice.

Perfect for beginners.


Ski Guiding and Instruction

1 Person–$300.00
2 People–$500
3 People–$750
Large groups? Contact Us

Choose your ascent and descent goals for a full day of ski mountaineering. Your KMAC guide will offer up some of the best options given local terrain and current conditions. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to experience the high peaks of RMNP in winter.


Rocky Mountain National Park High Level Ski Mountaineering Tour

Book Now
1 Person–$1,800.00
2 People–$2200
3 People–$3300
4 People–$4400
Large groups? Contact Us

Slides_02_019

Pioneered by Harry Kent many years ago, this world classic ski mountaineering tour takes in a large section of major terrain in RMNP. Unlike a hut trip, this is a physically demanding adventure that requires a minimum level of intermediate skiing and mountaineering experience. Most of the tour keeps at elevations between 10,000 and 11,000 feet with several sections above 12,000 feet. We’ll travel through Wild Basin and Boulder Grand Pass, Lake Nakoni, the Ptarmigan Peaks, Andrews pass and many more known and some not so well known places.

If you’re up for adventure and wish to complete one of the finest ski mountaineering tours in the country, please contact us for more information. Consider scheduling this tour privately if the recommended months of March, April, and May do not suit your schedule.

(4-5 days)


Winter Camping

1 Person–$600.00
2 People–$800
3 People–$1200
Large groups? Contact Us

 

Join us for an overnight skills course in winter camping. This course is intended for first-time winter campers, climbers, skiers, and anyone else who recreates in winter. It could come in handy should you find yourself in an unplanned bivouac in winter. Plus – it’ll be fun. Perfect for private groups, families, and others who want to share a winter camping experience while learning important skills.

 

Winter camping requires attention to detail in regard to equipment. It also requires thoughtful preparation. You’ll learn about winter equipment essentials and what to pack.

In addition, you’ll learn how to build a snow cave and quinsy and the protocols for using tents. You’ll have the option of sleeping in either of these important survival structures.

Other skills to be covered include:

  • Cooking and winter “kitchens”
  • Techniques for staying warm
  • Winter back-country travel
  • Leave No Trace
  • Food, nutrition, hydration
  • Weather factors

Winter Mountaineering Camps

1 Person–$1,200.00
2 People–$1600
3 People–$2400
4 People–$3200
Large groups? Contact Us

These 4 days winter mountaineering camps are well suited for individuals as well as high school, colleges, and clubs. If scheduled dates do not fit your calendar, please contact us to schedule privately.

We’ll get outfitted and geared up on day one and begin skiing or snow shoeing into base camp. Tents or snow caves will be our home as we indulge in the Alpine winter. The second day we’ll sample some ice or acclimatize with a tour. On day 3 we’ll strike out early from camp and attempt a summit of our choice based on conditions. Day 4 sees us breaking camp and heading back to the creature comforts of Estes Park. This is a great course for beginner mountaineers wishing to learn and experience mountaineering in winter.

Mountaineering Camp Venues:

  • Black Lake Cirque
  • Ypsilon Mountain
  • Finch Lake
  • Longs Peak Cirque

Upcoming Winter Programs Schedule

AIARE Level 1 Course, for Locals

Thursday, December 21stSaturday, December 23rd 2017

1 Person–$415.00

December 21-23, 2017

This course is borne from many conversations with local residents looking to get into backcountry skiing and snowboarding more in our backyard of Rocky Mountain National Park. We will cover the full range of AIARE 1 topics with a focus on local areas and making our community more avalanche savvy.

You will come away with a much better understanding of how, where, when, and why avalanches happen, as well as what to do when they do. We will examine the factors that lead to avalanches and give you a framework to base decisions on. The goal is to help establish a solid culture of safe back country travel in RMNP and surrounding areas.

We are offering this course for a discounted rate of $415 to encourage local residents to learn about their Park.

Contact us with any questions!

AIARE Level 1 for Locals


AIARE Level 1

Friday, February 23rdSunday, February 25th 2018

1 Person–$455.00

Travel Safe

The AIARE Level 1 Course begins the basic foundation for understanding avalanche hazards and developing safe travel practices in avalanche terrain.  Taking this course should be everyone’s first step before venturing into the backcountry in winter.  The goal of this AIARE Level 1 Course is for students to learn the basics of snow pack science, terrain analysis, and to be able to formulate a good decision making process.

This 26 hour course involves instruction, evening classroom lectures, video and discussion, and at least 16 hours of fieldwork. Students will also learn the elements of companion avalanche rescue and practice using realistic scenarios.

The course is designed for all types of backcountry travelers, snowshoers, backcountry skiers, snowboarders, mountaineers, ski patrol, and mountain guides.


Rocky Mountain National Park High Ski Mountaineering Tour

Wednesday, April 11thSunday, April 15th 2018

1 Person–$200.00
2 People–$175.00 /person
3 People–$150.00 /person

Slides_02_019Pioneered by Harry Kent many years ago, this world classic ski mountaineering tour takes in a large section of major terrain in RMNP. Unlike a hut trip, this is a physically demanding adventure that requires a minimum level of intermediate skiing and mountaineering experience. Most of the tour keeps at elevations between 10,000 and 11,000 feet with several sections above 12,000 feet. We’ll travel through Wild Basin and Boulder Grand Pass, Lake Nakoni, the Ptarmigan Peaks, Andrews pass and many more known and some not so well known places.

If you’re up for adventure and wish to complete one of the finest ski mountaineering tours in the country, please contact us for more information. Consider scheduling this tour privately if calendar dates below do not suit your schedule. Recommended months: March, April, and May.

(4-5 days)