CVA Backcountry PROGRAM 

CVA Backcountry is an immersive backcountry skiing and snowboarding program for high schoolers. Whether your focus is backcountry skiing, big mountain skiing, or ski mountaineering, the Backcountry program allows you to travel to locations around the world to train, learn, and mentor with world-class educators and mountain guides.

Backcountry athletes gain experience, training, and coaching in:

  • Backcountry skiing in a variety of terrain and snow climates
  • Avalanche studies and snow science
  • Wilderness medicine
  • Rock and ice climbing
  • Orienteering
  • Backcountry ethics
  • Pre-season and post-season training

Backcountry athletes earn certifications in:

  • Avalanche studies (AIARE Level 1)
  • Wilderness medicine (SOLO Wilderness First Aid and Wilderness First Responder dependenton experience)


Program Director Patrick Scanlan brings years of experience to the position ranging from backcountry and big mountain skiing, ski mountaineering, rock climbing, and adventure travel.

Patrick is a graduate of the University of New Hampshire where he earned a dual-degree in Kinesiology and Outdoor Education and Environmental Conservation. Previously, Patrick has worked for the Appalachian Mountain Club as a backcountry site manager in Tuckerman Ravine where he worked and mentored under US Forest Service avalanche specialists to build his knowledge and experience in snow science, mountain rescue, and riskmanagement.

Patrick's industry certifications and trainings include: American Mountain Guides Association Single Pitch Instructor, SOLO Apprentice Course Instructor, SOLO Wilderness First Responder, AIARE Level II, MWAC Avalanche Rescue Course, AMGA Apprentice Ski Guide, and Leave No Trace Trainer.  


2017-18 Backcountry Trips

October:  New Hampshire’s White Mountains for outdoor rock climbing, mountain biking, and camping.
January:  Jackson, WY and Grand Teton National Park for backcountry ski touring, avalanche education with Jackson Hole Outdoor Leadership Institute, and touring out of backcountry yurts.
March:  Anchorage, AK for ski touring and ski mountaineering in the Chugach Mountains, Thompson Pass, and the Kenai Range.  We are excited to be working with IFMGA Mountain Guide Joe Stock and AMGA Ski Guide, Nick D’Alessio
April:  Spring skiing in the alpine zone on Mount Washington.  This will include skiing in Tuckerman Ravine, Gulf of Slides, Huntington Ravine, and taking advantage of touring out of backcountry huts.  This trip focuses a lot on student leadership as we put together skills and knowledge we have built upon throughout the year. 


Continuing initiatives for 2017/18


  • Expand opportunities for student leadership. Valuable learning experiences come from assuming, or attempting to assume, leadership roles in appropriate situations. 
  • Establish a collaborative team project. The project will be up to the team but potential examples are a blog, a media project, adopting a trail.

Freeride Development Team


Skiing in the backcountry and side country is rapidly growing and middle school students are becoming increasingly interested in the two disciplines that utilize that terrain; Freeride and Backcountry. We have found that eighth graders don’t always have a clear sense of which discipline they want to focus on or may need a year to learn skills or gain maturity; the Freeride Development team might be for them. Click here for more information.




3197 Carrabassett Drive
Carrabassett Valley, ME 04947


Fax: 207.237.2213