Level One Avalanche Experiential Course (max 6:1 ratio):
Who should take this course?
Anyone who spends time traveling in the backcountry during winter, including skiers, snowboarders, ice climbers, mountaineers, snowmobilers, snowshoe hikers, and cross-country skiers.
A fast-paced hybrid course, combining avalanche training with backcountry winter skills for those who wish to further develop safe and efficient backcountry practices. Avalanche curriculum will cover identification of weather and snow pack “red flags” as well as avalanche rescue. Focus will be on avalanche terrain identification and management. Other essential topics covered include appropriate equipment and use, tour planning, navigation, uphill and downhill travel techniques, and group management. We will also discuss how the “human factor” affects avalanche accidents. A combination of classroom time and field days in world-renowned Rocky Mountain National Park creates a perfect balance between learning and practice.
The two-day course starts with online reading so that students arrive to class with a basic understanding of the main concepts and vocabulary associated with avalanches. Day one focuses on the snow science—the snowpack and all of its properties—and how it relates to avalanches. Day two focuses on avalanche rescue and the proper use of beacons, shovels, and probes.