Recreational Level 1 Avalanche Course

Your Foundation for Mountain Winter Travel

A Level 1 avalanche course is your foundation for winter backcountry travel. This course is geared toward intermediate to advanced skiers and splitboarders who want to start exploring the wild wintry mountains. It is a hands-on course that will provide you with the skills necessary to recognize and evaluate avalanche hazard. This course consists of 24 hours of classroom and field training.

We Will Cover

  • Trip planning

  • Avalanche rescue techniques

  • Avalanche types and formation

  • Identifying avalanche terrain

  • Using the avalanche advisory

  • Backcountry psychology

  • Decision making techniques

  • Snow, weather and avalanche observations

  • Snow instability tests

  • Selecting a low risk route

  • Travel techniques


  • Advanced downhill ability. You must be able to ski or splitboard black diamond resort runs without falling.

  • Fitness for two consecutive full days in the mountains, skinning up about 2-3,000 vertical feet each day.

  • Be prepared to remain outside all day in cold and foul weather.

  • Wilderness First Aid course recommended.

Pre Course Homework

  • Complete a pre-course quiz.

  • Watch Rescue at Cherry Bowl.

  • Read Avalanche Essentials by Bruce Tremper.

  • Review the Backcountry Access rescue videos.

  • Read the Turnagain Pass advisory daily during the weeks before the course.

  • Practice with your field gear so you're ready to go. This is not a backcountry riding course.


  • December 12-16, 2018 (Lead Instructor: Joe Stock, Instructor: Nick D'Alessio, Instructor: Elliot Gaddy)


  • Dec 12, Weds, 6-9pm, Alaska Rock Gym, classroom session

  • Dec 13, Thurs, 6-9pm, Alaska Rock Gym, classroom session

  • Dec 15, Sat, 8am-5pm, morning meeting and Turnagain Pass field session

  • Dec 16, Sun, 8am-5pm, morning meeting and Turnagain Pass field session

Cost: $450 per person


  • 24 hours of professional instruction. 8 hours of indoor lecture. 16 hours of field instruction.

  • 5:1 max student to instructor ratio

  • Class handouts

  • Backcountry checklist field card

  • Avalanche rescue field card

  • Certificate of completion

Does Not Include

To Book

Photos of Course Topics in Action