Jedd: Welcome to BPL. Some of those coming are beginning winter backpackers. That said, you do need some specialized equipment. Some can be rented, but others you'd probably have to invest in. This thread has a discussion of some of it, but check the winter hiking section for more info. Others can probably point you to winter backpacking gear lists. Also, as Tony Wong has mentioned, the Sierra Club has a winter backpacking training class that you might want to sign up for next winter when it rolls around.
Also, as Ken mentioned, we have a trip next weekend to Pt. Reyes. Even though that is booked, just check the trip listings for upcoming Bay Area-based trips. Ken Helwig and others have been great about setting up trips and once we get back from Pt. Reyes I'm sure Ken will be working up another adventure.