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Skurka's 3-day courses and 7-day trips -- group discounts
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Andrew Skurka
(askurka) - F
Skurka's 3-day courses and 7-day trips -- group discounts on 04/10/2012 12:15:48 MDT Print View

This year I'm offering two types of trips:

1) Ultimate Hiking Courses are introductory-level and will be held in six regional locations: CA, NC, VA, CO, MI, NH, and MI. The objective is to learn about and apply the gear, supplies, and skills that make hiking fun, less work. Consider this course an investment: learn from experts, not through trial and error, and avoid hundreds of dollars in regrettable gear purchases and years of trips that should have been more enjoyable and less difficult. The course includes a comprehensive pre-trip curriculum and a 3-day/2-night trip.

More info about Ultimate Hiking Courses

The first course is May 19-20 in Henry Coe State Park. Course info

2) Wilderness Adventures are advanced-level trips held in Greater Yellowstone and Yosemite National Park. This will be an outstanding backcountry experience -- we will hike deep into world-class terrain while mastering basic skills and developing expert-level skills like off-trail navigation, snow travel, and coping with inclement weather. The trip includes a comprehensive pre-trip curriculum plus a 7-day/6-night trip.

More info about Wilderness Adventures

The first courses are in July, starting in Jackson, Wyoming. Trip info


I am the lead instructor/guide on all trips. Either Brian Robinson, Mike Clelland, Alan Dixon, Phillip Werner, or Paul Magnanti will be assisting me. These individuals are truly experts.


Normal prices for these trips are $600 and $1,600. However, if you register as a group of 2+ people, discounts of $50 and $125 per person will be applied.

BPL members who don't "know" one another now but who agree to take the course together are eligible for these discounts. You can search for a partner using this thread, or through PM. In the online registration, just note other members in your group so that I can account for it properly.


I'd be happy to answer any questions about the trips, in this thread or via email, andrewskurka at gmail dot com.

For additional program information (like dates, locations, curriculum, and free and discounted year) to go:

Edited by askurka on 04/10/2012 12:18:19 MDT.

Jason Emerick
(jemerick) - M

Locale: Mid-Atlantic
Re: Skurka's 3-day courses and 7-day trips -- group discounts on 04/11/2012 20:35:59 MDT Print View

I could potentially do the VA ultimate hiking course if anyone else if thinking about doing it and wants to create a group for the discount.

Ken T.
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: All up in there
Re: Skurka's 3-day courses and 7-day trips -- group discounts on 04/11/2012 21:19:46 MDT Print View

Anyone want to sponsor me? lol. Should make for a great series of trip reports.

Frank H.
(porker110) - M

Locale: California
Skurka's 3-day courses and 7-day trips -- group discounts on 04/11/2012 21:46:52 MDT Print View

I would be willing to go with someone for the Henry Coe trip.


Joseph R
(Dianoda) - MLife

Locale: Chicago, IL
Re: Skurka's 3-day courses and 7-day trips -- group discounts on 04/12/2012 13:47:00 MDT Print View

I'm thinking long and hard about that Sept. 16-22 Yosemite trip - depends on what my bonus is this year. But it looks really, really awesome, and I do have some frequent flyer miles to blow...

Andrew Skurka
(askurka) - F
Re: Re: Skurka's 3-day courses and 7-day trips -- group discounts on 04/16/2012 15:17:41 MDT Print View

Joesph -

I can assure that it will *be* really, really awesome. We'll be traveling mostly off-trail north or south from Tuoulumne, visiting a bunch of the areas you may have seen in the distance from some of the popular corridor trails (e.g. JMT and PCT).

The Greater Yellowstone trip will be equally awesome. Those trips are in July. Mike Clelland will be joining us.

Hope that bonus is big.

Andrew Skurka
(askurka) - F
Spots available on 3-day course with Skurka and Flyin' Brian on 05/10/2012 12:35:37 MDT Print View

There are still a few spots left for the introductory-level Ultimate Hiking Course next weekend, May 18-20. It will be held in Yosemite National Park (not Henry Coe State Park as originally scheduled). Brian Robinson ("Flyin' Brian") and I will be the instructors.

For more information on this course, to go:

If you are interested, please shoot me an email at andrewskurka at gmail dot com.

Obviously this is a last-minute announcement, but you will not have missed out much with a last-minute sign-up. All of our virtual conversations are available via our Google Group, and I can get you access immediately to our shared Google Docs.

If you are an East Coaster, I should mention that there are also still spots available for the Shenandoah and Pisgah trips, both of which are in early-June.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: Mind your own business
Re: Spots available on 3-day course with Skurka and Flyin' Brian on 05/10/2012 13:58:15 MDT Print View

Hi Andrew,

I may be interested in one of the MI events.



Andrew Skurka
(askurka) - F
Ron Bell to join Skurka and Dixon in Shenandoah on 05/15/2012 08:23:16 MDT Print View

For those interested in the Shenandoah National Park trip, June 9-11, here's an extra incentive to register:

Ron Bell, owner and founder of Mountain Laurel Designs, will be joining the group as a special guest. I expect he will bring some unique insight about gear & skills to the course, complementing what Alan Dixonn (co-founder of BPL) and I will bring. Needless to say, there are very few opportunities to learn about backpacking from a trio of this caliber.

There are still several spots available for the course, as well as the course held the weekend before (June 2-4) near Asheville in Pisgah National Forest, for which Alan and I will be the instructors again.

More information:

Andrew Skurka
(askurka) - F
Spots left in Pisgah & Shen. Yosemite trips to soon fill up on 05/22/2012 13:32:27 MDT Print View

The Pisgah NF and Shenandoah NP trips both still have openings. Dates:
* Pisgah: Sat, June 2 through Mon, June 4
* Shenandoah: Sat, June 9 through Mon, June 11

Last-minute registrations are welcome -- the group's past conversations can be accessed via Google Groups, and Alan and I will catch up to speed on everything else.

The first Ultimate Hiking Course was this past weekend in Yosemite and I was very, very pleased with how it went. (I'd taught intro-level courses before but they were 5 or 6 days, not 3.) The curriculum is comprehensive and will give you a very solid foundation of backpacking know-how, but it's spread over three days so it never feels classroom-ish.


The 7-day Wilderness Adventure trips in Yosemite, Sept 16-22 and Sept 23-29, are almost full. There is only one spot left for the first week, and two spots left for the second week. I have not decided yet if I will offer a third week in early-October. There are still spots left for the 7-day trips in Greater Yellowstone.

Andrew Skurka
(askurka) - F
Photos & recap from Ultimate Hiking Course in Yosemite on 05/23/2012 13:26:22 MDT Print View

I just posted a photo-driven recap of the Yosemite trip, which was the inaugural Ultimate Hiking Course. I've taught intro-level trips before but not in this 3-day format. I'm really excited about the results: participants are able to gain a tremendous amount of knowledge, but it's spread out just enough to avoid feeling classroom-ish.

Here's the post:

Andrew Skurka
(askurka) - F
Yosemite 7-day trips now full. Still spots in Pisgah, Shen, Yellowstone on 05/25/2012 00:08:11 MDT Print View

Two of the three 7-day Wilderness Adventures offered in Yosemite National Park are now full. I may open a third trip, Sept 30 through Oct 6, but have not yet made that decision.

If you are looking for a 7-day experience and the Yosemite C trip does not fit your schedule, there are still spots available for the Greater Yellowstone trips in July. Mike Clelland will be assisting me on those.

Finally, there are still spots available for the intro-level learning-intensive coureses in Pisgah National Forest and Shenandoah National Park, June 2-4 and June 9-11, respectively. Alan Dixon, co-founder of Backpacking Light, will be assisting me on both trips; and Ron Bell, owner and founder of Mountain Laurel Designs, will be a VIP instructor for the Shen trip.

Andrew Skurka
(askurka) - F
Still space to join Skurka, Alan Dixon & Ron Bell on 06/01/2012 08:43:39 MDT Print View

There are still a few spaces left for the 3-day intro-level learning-intensive trip in Shenandoah National Park, June 9-11. BPL co-founder Alan Dixon and MLD's Ron Bell will be helping me instruct this course. Not sure if I have ever heard of a backpacking course with an instructor team of this quality.

My objective with this trip is ultimately to save you thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours, not to mention helping you avoid trips that should have been less difficult and more enjoyable. In three days we will help you become a capable and confident intermediate-level backpacker, regardlesss of your starting point. Alternatively, you can spend years learning this information through trial-and-error.

If you are interested email me, andrewskurka at gmail dot com.

Bobby Lee
(rblee) - F
Sounds interesting on 06/01/2012 13:03:29 MDT Print View

Looks awesome, can always learn more.

BTW, looking good in the Victorinox ad in Backpacker mag this past month, Andrew!!!

Andrew Skurka
(askurka) - F
Re: Sounds interesting on 06/01/2012 21:39:27 MDT Print View

Bobby -

If you are really interested, send me an email or PM. Alan and I are in the field Sat-Mon afternoon for a similar trip in Pisgah but I will get back to you on Monday night or Tuesday. Not sure your history, but we can probably get you up to speed pretty quickly and make sure you have everything you need.

Your comment about the Victorinox ad inspired me to go look for it. Thankfully I was in the Nashville airport and Backpacker easy to find. A pretty flattering shot -- mom will be happy with that one.


Andrew Skurka
(askurka) - F
Skurka offering 2-day navigation-intense trip in Rocky Mountain NP on 06/28/2012 11:48:00 MDT Print View

Are you bored of hiking on trails, or do you aspire to reach trail-less summits and traverse trail-less landscapes? But you are held back by your navigation skills?

I'm now offering a course that is designed specifically for you: an intermediate-level, quick-and-dirty 2-day course that focuses intensely on navigation, especially off-trail.

It will be held in Rocky Mountain National Park, August 9-10. Group size is limited to 3 + me. There are two spots left.

I am offering the same trip in New Hampshire's White Mountains in late-August but it is full. It filled in about an hour.

More information:

Or I'm happy to answer questions via this forum.

Andrew Skurka
(askurka) - F
Re: Skurka offering 2-day navigation-intense trip in Rocky Mountain NP on 06/28/2012 16:50:07 MDT Print View

Update: only one spot left. It won't last long.

If you pass over or miss this trip, but are interested in taking a trip in the future, you can submit your information here,, and I'll notify you when the 2013 schedule is finalized.

Noel Tavan
(akatsuki_the_devil) - MLife
Spendy on 06/29/2012 08:00:53 MDT Print View

The wilderness trip sounds fun but Too spendy for me...

Andrew Skurka
(askurka) - F
Two spots left on 3-day intro-level trip on Porcupine Mtns, guided by Skurka & Dixon on 08/15/2012 08:49:55 MDT Print View

This trip had been full but there were some recent health- and family-related cancellations, so I now have two spots left. Trip details:

* Porcupine Mountains, MI
* Aug 30 - Sept 2 (Labor Day Weekend)
* Intro-level, learning-intensive
* Group size limited to 12, including 2 guides
* Guides: me and Alan Dixon, who co-founded BPL with Ryan Jordan

The cost of this trip is normally $600, but I am offering a 10% discount ($60 off) to BPL members. I realize that the trip is only about two weeks away so I'm trying to make it more convenient.

Part of the trip expense is offset by awesome discounts from ULA (25%), Six Moon Designs (25%), and Mountain Laurel Designs (10%), plus free product from Headsweats, Platypus, and Sawyer. If you don't have all of your own gear, I have a long list of demo gear that you can borrow (namely cooksets, shelters, and sleep systems), which further reduces the cost.

For more information on this course, go to:

If you are interested, email me or send me a private message via BPL.

Edited by askurka on 08/15/2012 09:15:52 MDT.