Run to the Hills with RMOC – The Rocky Mountain Outdoor Center

Buena Vista-based RMOC (Rocky Mountain Outdoor Center) offers several trips and certification courses that take advantage of everything Colorado’s winter months have to offer. With access to a variety of zones within the massive Sawatch mountain range, RMOC caters to a wide range of abilities and interests. 

In addition to its incredible location and access to backcountry terrain, RMOC has also partnered with
Weston Backcountry, a leader in backcountry innovation and education. So not only do you get first-
rate education from the best in the business, you also get the privilege of using Weston gear.

Colorado’s backcountry can be a great place to enjoy solitude and fresh lines, but a basic skill set is
important to have before heading out on your own. RMOC’s roster of backcountry courses are perfect
for getting you started and keeping you safe.

Begin with Intro to Backcountry, where you’ll learn about avalanche hazards, weather observations, and trip planning. You’ll also receive an overview of all required equipment before heading out to the trail for a basic tour through the woods.  

Follow up with Touring in Avalanche Terrain and spend the day learning to travel safely and efficiently
through the backcountry. Instruction includes uphill travel techniques and how to quickly change over
from climb to shred mode. You’ll also learn how to analyze a snowpit with three simple tests before
having fun making great turns. 

RMOC guides are experts at determining a route based on ability and snow and weather conditions.
They understand that shorter pitches with gladed trees are great for first timer backcountry skiers and
intermediate shredders who want a casual day of powder turns, while steeper alpine bowls provide a
high mountain experience for advanced riders. The natural snow surface can create challenging
conditions, even on mellow terrain, so all participants should be confident navigating black diamond
slopes at a ski area.

As a stepping stone to getting off the resort and into the backcountry, RMOC’s Splitboarding Course
teaches technical skills necessary for backcountry touring. Topics include proper and efficient
transitions, kickturns, and more. You’ll also discuss specific challenges and how to adapt while also
learning some tricks for keeping up with your two planked friends.

For those more serious about backcountry adventure, RMOC offers avalanche certification
courses — AIARE Level 1 and AIARE Avalanche Rescue. Receive an introduction to using decision making tools to manage risk while traveling in avalanche terrain or learn new skills while keeping your existing skills sharp.

Get off the slopes and discover a new passion this winter with RMOC’s Intro to Ice Climbing. Learn how to swing an axe and climb up a frozen waterfall. This is an amazing experience and is actually much easier than you think. This course covers climbing techniques, anchor building, and dry tooling. All hard goods are included, such as boots, crampons, and axes, so there’s no need to stock up prior to participating. 

Want to give the gift of backcountry adventure to someone special in your life? Check out the Adventure Pass. These extremely popular passes offer year-round access to beginner, intermediate, and advanced courses offered in a variety of activities. Your recipient can use the pass to sign up for any 10 RMOC courses he or she wants for a full year!

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