At Cripple Creek Backcountry we work with some of the best ski mountaineering racing athletes in the country, but we also introduce hundreds of athletes to the sport of uphill skiing. We have been very lucky to work with some of the best coaches in the sport and we are here to hook up you up with the right one. Whether you live by the shop in Carbondale or Vail or across the country an individual training plan can get you the most out of your race results or simply the best turns you earn.

If you would like to get started on the road to ski touring success contact us at and we will pair you with the right coach for you.

A good coach also has a lot of experience. They’ve coached someone in your sport recently, or someone with a similar fitness level and they can use this knowledge and experience to help you make the best choices. They can help you make those choices because they’ve helped athletes make those decisions before. A coach is always learning, and certainly you will present new challenges, but having a history of seeing nearly everything under the sun helps guide you in the best direction.


Hey. You, yes you. You need a coach. Yes, “need” is a strong word. But unless you can honestly say that you are 100% satisfied with your speed and endurance uphill, you need a coach. Coaches help so much that most coaches have coaches. It isn’t because the other coach knows more or is a better coach, it’s just that having a coach will make you better. 

Increasing performance is all about choices. What choices are you making every day about training, recovery, nutrition, etc. Having a coach helps you make better choices in four key ways.

  1. Knowledge/Experience. Duh. The first of the two basics. A good coach has a lot of knowledge with which to help you make the best choices. They may not know more than about everything than their most experienced athletes, but they are always chasing more knowledge.
  1. Accountability. The second of the two basics. Having someone checking in on you, or even knowing someone MIGHT check in on you creates a very important system of accountability. You’re much more likely to follow through with your plan and make the right choices if you know someone is looking.
  1. Decision Fatigue. “Am I too tired today?” “Shit, my ankle kind of hurts, should I bike instead of run?” “I haven’t eaten all day, should I do this workout?” If you don’t have a coach, you are solely responsible for all the decisions that go into your personal performance. If you really care about getting fitter, this can be a stressful proposition. You know each decision matters, but you perhaps don’t have the knowledge, experience, or perspective to make a decision you KNOW is correct. A coach helps you make those choices, and gives you a framework around which decisions you need to make yourself, radically decreasing the stress around those choices.
  1. Perspective. Being an athlete is an inherently emotional experience. Whether it’s an interval, workout or race, you will have an emotional reaction to exercise success or failure. It’s very difficult to make an objective decision in the heat of that emotion. A coach has the perspective to look at a decision that an athlete faces and make a suggestion with a logical eye.