Recreational Level 1 Avalanche Course

Your Foundation for Mountain Winter Travel

A Level 1 Avalanche Course is your foundation for winter backcountry travel. This 24-hour course is geared toward advanced skiers and riders who want to start exploring the snowy mountains. The Level 1 will provide you with an introduction to avalanche hazard assessment, tools to make go/no go decisions, how to travel in avalanche terrain, and a review of avalanche rescue. This course is meant to be taken in conjunction with the Avalanche Rescue Course.

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.

  • Ability to use your backcountry gear including your bindings and skins.

  • 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.

  • Age 14 or older.

  • Wilderness First Aid course recommended.

Pre Course Homework

2019/20 Dates

  • December 11-15, 2019

  • December 18-22, 2019

  • January 1-5, 2020


  • Wednesday 6-9pm, classroom session at Alaska Rock Gym.

  • Thursday 6-9pm, classroom session at Alaska Rock Gym.

  • Saturday 8am-5pm, morning meeting in Girdwood followed by field session at Turnagain Pass.

  • Sunday 8am-5pm, morning meeting in Girdwood followed by field session at Turnagain Pass.

  • Please Note: If the weather forecast predicts poor learning conditions at Turnagain Pass we may shift to Hatcher Pass or the Chugach Front Range.

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