Backcountry Skills Schools

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Alpine Skills International (Donner Pass, Calif.) offers programs that cover skiing techniques and backcountry skills. Contact: 530-426-9108;

American Avalanche Institute (near Jackson, Wyo.) offers avalanche safety courses throughout the West. Contact: 307-733-3315;

Appalachian Mountain Club (New England) gives everything from introductory hut-to-hut tours to advanced winter-mountaineering courses. Contact: 617-523-0636;

Colorado Mountain Club (Denver and Boulder) teaches various courses and leads trips through membership services. Contact: 303-279-3080, ext. 2, then ext. 109;

EMS Climbing School (based in Conway, N.H., with "campuses" in the Catskills, Adirondacks and Boulder, Colo.) provides courses in mountaineering, winter camping, backcountry skiing and technical ice climbing; guided trips. Contact: 800-310-4504;

Colorado Mountain College (multiple campuses) offers a wide range of options, from one-day seminars to two-year degrees. Contact: 800-621-8559;

North American Ski Training Center (Donner Summit, Calif.) focuses on advanced backcountry skiing skills, including multi-day seminars. Contact: 530-582-4772;

Wasatch Mountain Club (Utah) offers courses, seminars and trips. Contact: 801-463-9842;