Bridal Veil Backcountry Ski Camp

Come test your fortitude in the heart of the San Juan Mountains. Inspired by Alaska-style base camps, our Bridal Veil Backcountry Ski Camp will help you dip your toes into winter camping, with the added benefits of heated tents and catered meals, all while enjoying incredible backcountry skiing.

Challenge yourself in a more friendly winter camping environment at altitude

These trips are for the experienced backcountry skier or rider who is considering an Alaska Range Ski Camp trip, skiing Denali, heading to Chamonix, or has any other expedition-oriented goals. While it may lack the glaciated terrain of those areas, the stunning basin of Upper Bridal Veil Basin provides an excellent backdrop to test your skills as a skier and mountaineer, and provides altitude experience as you’ll be sleeping at 12,500 feet. 

Included are three guided days of backcountry skiing and two nights of heated tent camping in Upper Bridal Veil Basin. All groups will be guided by one of our AMGA trained or certified guides. We’ll access the Bridal Veil Backcountry Ski Camp by skiing out the gate of the Telluride Ski Resort, so purchase of a single-day ski pass will be necessary. From base camp, we’ll have convenient access to world-class backcountry skiing.

Bridal Veil Backcountry Ski Camp - Register

The base camp consists of three double-walled Arctic Oven Tents. Each tent sits on an insulated wooden platform, providing some extra warmth for your feet. In addition, you’ll be sleeping on cots donned with sleeping pads and down sleeping bags. While the sleeping situation may not be considered “warm” by normal standards, it’s certainly more comfortable than your average winter camping experience, allowing for a softer introduction into what can be an intimidating experience.

Catered meals are included as part of the experience, complete with a kitchen tent for sheltered dining. After skiing, you’ll enjoy some of the best stargazing in the area beside a blazing evening bonfire.

Sleeping bags, a camp parkas and meals will be provided, so all you need to bring is a toothbrush, sleeping bag liner, and one change of warm clothes (keep it light!). Backcountry ski gear is not provided, but is available for rent through Mountain Trip. 

If you have questions or are unsure of where to start in your backcountry progression, please contact the Mountain Trip office at [email protected] or (970) 369-1153.

Arrive in Telluride. Team meet and gear check.

Day 1: Ski out the gate from Telluride Ski Resort and traverse to base camp in Upper Bridal Veil Basin, weather and conditions permitting. Arrive at camp, settle in, enjoy a hot dinner.

Day 2: Ski some of the amazing and varied terrain accessible from Bridal Veil Basin, beginning your tour at 12,500 feet. 

Day 3: Ski out of base camp through Bear Creek or Bridal Veil Basin, weather and conditions permitting.

We access the Bridal Veil Base Camp from the top of the Revelation Lift on Telluride Ski Resort. From there, a number of backcountry gates can be used to ski into the upper Bear Creek Basin. Skiers will traverse (getting some turns along the way!) and climb up to McCarron Junction before dropping into the Bridal Veil Basin. Camp is then a quick ten-minute ski away.

Skiing from camp ranges from delightful low angle pow fields to a few steeper summits for the skilled backcountry skier. Multiple tours can be taken from base camp to explore the entirety of the basin, including a fun stop by the historic Lewis Mine. The little ski town of Ophir is just over the ridge and a 3,000-foot run to the valley awaits you—guaranteed to be the best corn run of your life with the right conditions.

Columbine Lake can be accessed by a short yet steep skin or boot pack back out of the basin, and offers amazing views toward Red Mountain Pass. If the snow is good in Bear Creek, there are multiple options to ski back into that zone and tour there.

Finally, La Junta Basin can be accessed from base camp, offering another epic ski into an alpine basin, or a bigger tour to the top of some stellar couloirs. Bridal Veil Basin is also a great place to hone in avalanche rescue skills, as well as practice snow assessment and terrain management.

Inclusions and Exclusions for Bridal Veil Backcountry Ski Camp

Included in the Trip Fee:

  • Unlimited pre-trip access to our office resources.
  • Guidance of our experienced Mountain Trip guides.
  • All food while at base camp.
  • All group equipment (tents, kitchen, ropes, snow pickets, group med kit, satellite phone, GPS tracker, etc.)
  • Sleeping bag, sleeping pad, cot, down parka.
  • Assistance arranging for post-ski activities in the area.
  • Beacon, shovel and probe.


Not Included in the Trip Fee:

  • Flights to and from Telluride. 
  • Personal clothing and equipment per our equipment list.
  • Touring skis, boots, skins, poles and airbag pack.
  • Any additional lodging including post-trip lodging.
  • Meals while not at base camp.
  • Travel and/or rescue insurance.
  • Costs incurred due to early evacuation or unplanned departure from the mountain due to illness or other problems.
  • Costs incurred as a result of delays beyond the control of Mountain Trip.
  • Costs as a result of force majeure.

Refund and Cancellation Policy/Fee Schedule

Mountain Trip recognizes how difficult and disappointing it can be for climbers who must cancel expeditions which they have planned for a long time. It is important for climbers to recognize that, due to the nature of planning expeditions and dealing with governmental permits and regulations, Mountain Trip also accrues significant expenses in the months prior to expedition departure dates. Mountain Trip must therefore adhere to a strict refund policy for all climbers. We strongly recommend trip cancellation and travel insurance for all expeditions. U.S. and Canadian residents should contact us for more information regarding travel insurance. Our refund and cancellation policy is outlined below. However, as noted, certain trips may require specific policies that supersede those listed below.

By delivering a deposit to Mountain Trip, you hereby agree to the following Refund and Cancellation Policies:

  • Failure to pay expedition fees by the date they are due constitutes cancellation of your spot on the expedition team and forfeiture of your deposit.
  • Final payments for expeditions must be received 14 days prior to the Team Meeting Day.
  • Deposits are non-refundable.

Mountain Trip reserves the right to cancel an expedition prior to the departure date for any reason. In the event the expedition is cancelled based solely on an internal administrative decision by Mountain Trip (Internal Cancellation), all monies, except for nonrefundable administrative fees, collected by Mountain Trip from team members for the cancelled expedition shall be refunded within 30 days. By signing below, you acknowledge and agree that Mountain Trip shall bear no additional liability for such cancellations. This Internal cancellation provision shall not apply when external factors that force Mountain Trip to cancel an expedition against its will, including, but not limited to, international political upheaval, terrorism, drought/famine, epidemics/pandemics, and/or cancellations imposed by foreign or domestic governments or permitting agencies (External Cancellation). All External Cancellations shall not be subject to a refund unless such cancellation occurs prior to the deadlines set forth in the Refund and Cancellation Policies, mentioned above.

All Mountain Trip expeditions require a deposit to secure a spot on the trip. Your submission of a deposit constitutes your acceptance of the Fee Schedule, Refund and Cancellation Policy.

Reservation Information

Bridal Veil Backcountry Ski Camps require a 20% nonrefundable deposit at the time of booking. Final payment is due 14 days prior to the trip.

MountainTrip highly recommends that you consider trip cancellation insurance to protect the non-refundable administration fee, if not the entire cost of your climb. If you would like to purchase travel insurance to protect a trip in case of last-minute cancellations, you can do so via Travel Guard HERE.

The following is a list of guide-recommended gear for backcountry skiing with Mountain Trip. In general, you’ll want a selection of warm layers that work together. Clothing designed for a day of resort skiing is fine; however, dedicated touring clothing is better—specifically touring skis or a splitboard, and boots, which differ from a resort setup. Whatever gear you choose, please make sure it fits well so you fully enjoy your experience in the mountains.

All avalanche rescue equipment (beacon, shovel and probe) is included with the cost of the trip. Mountain Trip has a fleet of top-of-the-line Black Diamond touring skis, skins and poles, as well as La Sportiva touring boots and Black Diamond airbag skiing packs available for rent.

In addition to what we provide and have available to rent, there is also a good selection of gear available in Telluride and Ouray. If you have any specific questions about what you might need, please don’t hesitate to reach out to the Mountain Trip office.

Alpine touring skis, boots, skins and poles are rented for $100/day, and airbag packs for $30/day.


Print Equipment

Footwear

GearDescriptionGuide's Pick
Ski SocksYou will want ski socks that fit your foot well and are warm. For multi-day trips or ski expeditions, we recommend multiple pairs of socks so you can dry a pair overnight.

Torso Layers

GearDescriptionGuide's Pick
Base Layer Top(1 or 2 sets) of Wool or Capilene light weight base layers. Long sleeve or short sleeve base layers work well.
Light Fleece HoodyLight/mid weight fleece (or wool) top with a hood. You will wear this over your light weight base layer.
Soft Shell Wind JacketMany high alpine peaks are cold and dry. We are huge fans of very lightweight softshell wind jackets for high, dry, cold peaks. Weighing just a few ounces, these can be carried in your pocket or in the lid of your pack for rapid deployment. This layer is used in addition to your more waterproof hard shell jacket.
Ski ShellWe recommend a gore-tex ski shell that is water resistant but light weight at the same time.
Puffy Jacket SkiingA warm puffy jacket to throw on at the top of the skin track, during breaks, in the early am or on cold days.

Leg Layers

GearDescriptionGuide's Pick
Base Layer Bottoms(1 or 2 sets) of Wool or Capilene light weight base layers.
UnderwearConsider synthetic or Merino wool for your underwear. Most longer trips, such as Aconcagua or Denali, typically require 3-4 pair, but choose your quantity based on your personal level of comfort.
Ski PantA goretex or softshell ski pant with ventilation is recommended.

Head and Hands

GearDescriptionGuide's Pick
Heavyweight GlovesWarm, insulated gloves are the day-to-day workhorses on cold peaks or for cold days of ice climbing. We prefer gloves with removable liners for ease of drying.
Medium Weight GlovesA Mid-weight glove will generally be a softshell type glove with some light synthetic insulation.
Light Weight GlovesWhen the sun comes out on a glacier, the temperature can soar. Light weight, soft shell gloves are great for keeping the sun off your hands, while still giving you a bit of protection from the wind and cold.
Buff Neck GaiterBuff is a brand of light weight neck gaiters that have grown to become a staple of every guide's kit. These are amazingly versatile, and can be worn as a hat, a neck gaiter or pulled over your face for protection from the wind or sun. They come in many thicknesses nowadays, but we prefer the original weight for its versatility.
Sun HatBaseball type or wide brimmed sun hats are required for protection against the intense sunshine found on many peaks. You can combine a baseball hat with a BUFF for good sun protection or go for a wide brimmed version to protect your face, ears and neck.
Ski GogglesThese are necessary for use while traveling during storms or during really cold and windy weather. These must have double lenses and provide full UV protection. Fogging is a real challenge, so goggles that actively vent are worth the investment. Julbo's Aerospace or Airflux have a slick venting system or Smith makes battery-powered "Turbo Fan" models. Select a general purpose lens that will provide some protection in bright light, but not be so dark as to make them useless on a cloudy or flat-light day.
SunglassesSunglasses are essential in the mountains. Choose a pair that are comfortable and provide 100% UVA and UVB protection.

Ski Gear

GearDescriptionGuide's Pick
Backcountry Ski PolesAdjustable ski poles are fantastic as they allow you to change length for skinning vs. skiing. Any poles with powder baskets will work.
Touring BootsIf you have your own boots some helpful features include; walk mode and pin binding compatibility. Whatever boot you decide to use, make sure it is compatible with your touring bindings. Mountain Trip has a fleet of La Sportiva touring boots if you need to rent.
Climbing SkinsClimbing skins pre-cut for your touring skis. We include skins for our rental skis.
Backcountry SkisA lightweight ski setup with touring specific bindings is a great way to maximize the fun in the backcountry. Mountain Trip has a fleet of Black Diamond touring skis with pin bindings for you to rent for Colorado backcountry ski trips.
Ski HelmetWe recommend skiing with a ski helmet. Any downhill ski helmet will work.

Avalanche Safety Equipment

GearDescriptionGuide's Pick
Avalanche Transceiver/BeaconWhen traveling in avalanche terrain, whether it is backcountry skiing in the Alaska Range, or Colorado, we will wear avalanche transceivers (beacons). We will have an opportunity to practice at the start of the trip. Beacons are included for Colorado backcountry ski trips and available for rent on other climbs and expeditions.
Avalanche ProbeAn avalanche probe specifically for backcountry skiing.
Avalanche ShovelYou want a shovel that has a removable handle so that you can stow it in your backpack while touring. Metal bladed shovels only.
Backcountry Ski BackpackA backpack specific for backcountry skiing is recommended, these packs will have a separate pocket specifically for avalanche rescue gear. We also recommend skiing with an avalanche airbag, Mountain Trip has a fleet of Black Diamond airbag backpacks for rent on Colorado backcountry ski trips.

Other

GearDescriptionGuide's Pick
Toiletry KitTooth brush & paste, dental floss, Handi-wipes (1 per day on average), a small bottle of hand sanitizer, perhaps some foot powder… keep it small!!!
Lip BalmBring a tube of quality lip balm with sun protection (SPF).
HeadlampBring an extra set of batteries, as well. Lithium batteries work the best in cold weather!! For some trips (Carstensz, Everest, Cho Oyu) where we will be frequently climbing at night a second headlamp is a good idea, and always bring extra batteries!
Solar Panel/Battery *optionalIf you are planning to charge your iPhone, inReach, or other electronics on the expedition you will need a good, small solar panel. We recommend using the panel to charge a battery and then charging your devices from the battery. This is definitely some extra weight, so keep it light and maybe share a panel and battery with your tentmate!
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