Frame from MRVBC film.

The Mad River Valley Backcountry Coalition is partnering with Kel Rossiter of Adventure Spirit to offer a one-day workshop on backcountry fundamentals. The BC Primer, an all-day workshop, will be held at the Mad River Glen Basebox and on the mountain on Sunday, December 3, 2023. The course topics will help those who are newer to backcountry skiing/riding feel more comfortable going out into the deep woods in search of untracked snow. More experienced skiers/riders will gain useful insights and information for exploring mountains further afield. The event talks place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.





Workshop topics include:

  • Fundamentals (layering, food and drink, what's in the pack, BC equipment options).
  • First Aid Considerations (handling common injuries, looking at a sample first aid kit, and considerations for improvised evacuations).
  • Repair kit (ideas for fixing gear if it fails miles into the BC).
  • Useful techniques and skills (techniques for everything from putting on skins, to kick turns, to transitioning efficiently from uphill to downhill).
  • Avalanche considerations and rescue fundamentals (snowpack, terrain, triggers, weather, Northeast condition specifics, forecasting, beacon rescue basics).
  • Northeastern-specific considerations (how to be a responsible BC skier and make the most out of skiing days in the region).
  • Tour planning (terrain types, map usage, backup plans).



MRVBC and the Catamount Trail Association (CTA) are combining efforts to offer the 2023 Backcountry Film Festival at 7 p.m. at the Big Picture Theater in Waitsfield on Friday, December 8. The Backcountry Film Festival is a year-round, community program presented by Winter Wildlands Alliance that brings messages relevant to WWA’s mission and ongoing stewardship, policy and advocacy initiatives. A collage of human-powered stories and backcountry-inspired experiences, BCFF brings wild conversations and inspires action to communities that celebrate the present while looking towards the future.

Pre-registration is required and is limited for the backcountry workshop and tickets are required for the film festival. Register from the website, clicking on the events tab at the top.