Backcountry Skiing in Mammoth Lakes

Backcountry skiing and splitboarding are becoming more and more popular in the world of winter sports. Mammoth Lakes and the surrounding Eastern Sierra have plenty of areas for backcountry skiers and splitboarders to explore. Whether you’re new to backcountry skiing or just new to backcountry skiing in the region, here’s everything you need to know to get started backcountry skiing in Mammoth Lakes.

Backcountry Safety in Mammoth Lakes

Eastern Sierra Avalanche Information

The Eastern Sierra Avalanche Center (ESAC) provides information about snow conditions and avalanche danger for the Eastern Sierra region, including Mammoth Lakes. If you’re planning to go into the backcountry in Mammoth Lakes or the surrounding areas, make sure reading ESAC’s reports is the first part of any of your trip planning.

Avalanche Safety Training & Education

The number one thing you can do to stay safe in the backcountry is to invest in avalanche safety training courses. Training by the American Institute for Avalanche Research & Education (AIARE) is the gold standard for avalanche safety education. If you’re planning to ski in the backcountry without a guide, taking an avalanche safety course should be at the top of your list.

These local services offer multiple levels of AIARE Avalanche Safety Training:

Of course, nothing takes the place of taking a proper avalanche safety course, especially when you want to start venturing further into the backcountry or going without a guide. However, if you’re just getting started, check out an avalanche awareness event or webinar to learn more about backcountry safety and get an idea of the course work you’ll need to do in the future before you start getting out on bigger backcountry trips.

For avalanche awareness and education:

Where to Go Backcountry Skiing & Splitboarding in Mammoth Lakes

Guided Backcountry Skiing & Splitboarding in Mammoth Lakes

If you’re new to backcountry skiing, or just new to skiing in the Mammoth Lakes area, consider a guided backcountry ski trip. Local guides offer a variety of trips based on skillset, interests and snowpack.

You can book guided backcountry ski trips with these local outfitters:

Backcountry Skiing Guide Books for Mammoth Lakes and the Eastern Sierra

After you’ve had a chance to get out with a guide and you and your backcountry partners feel confident about your avalanche safety knowledge, you can start exploring more backcountry areas on your own. The best way to learn about places to go backcountry skiing in Mammoth Lakes and the Eastern Sierra is from a local guide book.

You can find guide books about backcountry skiing in Mammoth Lakes in these local shops:

Or look for secondhand copies at Second Chance Thrift Store or The Cast Off.

Where to Find Backcountry Skiing Gear in Mammoth Lakes

Renting Backcountry Skiing Gear

When you’re just getting into the sport, purchasing all of your backcountry gear can be expensive, especially if you’re only planning to get out a couple of times a year. Additionally, renting gear is a great way to learn about what you like and don’t like before you invest. Luckily, most guide outfitters offer gear for rent if you’re going out on a guided trip.

Or if you’re going out without a guide, Mammoth Mountaineering Supply offers rentals for anything you need for your backcountry adventure.

Purchasing Backcountry Skiing & Splitboarding Gear

Once you’re ready to invest in all or some of your own backcountry gear, you can find everything you need in local ski shops.

Check out the shops below to learn about their selection of backcountry skiing and splitboarding gear:

You may also be able to purchase some secondhand gear at Second Chance Thrift Store or The Cast Off.

Meghan Miranda

Meghan has been living and playing in Mammoth Lakes since 2016. She enjoys any outdoor activities that her dogs can tag along for. See more of Meghan's adventures on her blog Meg Moves Mountains.

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