New backcountry guiding business opens in Steamboat Springs | SteamboatToday.com

New backcountry guiding business opens in Steamboat Springs

Scott Franz

Brian Erhart skis near Rabbit Ears Peak. Erhart has started a backcountry guiding business.

A new Steamboat Springs business is letting skiers and riders skip the lift lines and learn how to safely make turns in the less-traveled backcountry.

Business partners Brian Erhart and Craig Weese started Steamboat Backcountry Adventures, which is now shuttling clients to Rabbit Ears Pass for lessons and tours.

"It's off to a great start," Erhart said. "If you took a few tours and lessons with us, you'd be more equipped to start going off on your own."

Erhart has been skiing since he was 2 years old.

He also got his backcountry guiding and avalanche education while studying at Colorado Mountain College.

"Our business kind of came out of the idea of trying to get more education in our area," he said.

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The company's first clients include a new backcountry skier who wanted some experience under his belt before setting off to tour the backcountry in Iceland and other skiers and riders who want to get away from the "craziness" of the larger ski areas.

Steamboat Backcountry Adventures provides clients with the necessary avalanche safety equipment.

Booking a ski or board demo package rental through the company at Ski Haus will get clients a 15-percent discount, Erhart said.

Erhart and Weese will come up with a tour plan based on the skier or riders' ability and comfort level.

The pair will also guide snowshoe tours.

Reviews posted to the company's Facebook page have been unanimously positive.

Erhart said that, though tours are currently limited to Rabbit Ears, the company hopes to get another approval from the U.S. Forest Service to guide in North Routt County.

"We're in the introductory phase of our business, and we're trying to get more locals involved," Erhart said.

Erhart grew up ski racing in the resort town of Petoskey, Michigan.

Weese learned to snowboard in the Bitterroot Mountains of Montana.

The skiing and splitboarding tours led by the men become more economical if clients get a group together.

A one-person tour is listed for $275, while a group of four or more can take a tour for $150 per person.

Tours last five to six hours, and are for beginner to advanced skiers and riders.

Instructional tours are also offered at a higher rate.

Snowshoe tours are offered at different rates.

To learn more about the business, visit steamboatguides.com.

To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210, email scottfranz@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @ScottFranz10