Avalanche Rescue Course

Mountain Trip hosts a variety of avalanche courses in the San Juan Mountains in Southwest Colorado, as a SAS Course Provider, both on a private and scheduled basis.

A full-day, scenario-based seminar, the Avalanche Rescue course primarily focuses on what to do in the direct aftermath of an avalanche. The course is designed to be taken every couple of years to refresh various skills essential to avalanche partner rescue, including beacon searches, probing technique, efficient recovery post-burial and contacting rescue assistance.

Avalanche Rescue is a one-day stand alone course that is intended to be retaken on a regular basis in order to keep abreast of best practices in rescue tools, techniques and technology.

New participants will learn the basics of companion rescue, while returning students will expand their skill set with advanced topics and practice drills to help improve their personal training post-course. All students will have the opportunity to get feedback from an instructor on their rescue competence and participate in challenging all-group and companion rescue scenarios.


Book a Private Avalanche Rescue Course Join a Scheduled Course

As a SAS Course Provider Mountain Trip utilizes an internationally vetted curriculum and state of the art knowledge from MountainSafety.info. The course meets the guidelines set forth by the International Commision for Alpine Rescue (ICAR) and exceeds learning outcomes  as defined by the American Avalanche Association.

This course does not cover various snow pit stability tests, snow crystal analysis, recognition of hazardous avalanche terrain, ect. and is not a substitute for a Level One course. It does not have any pre-requisites, but is required for both Pro Level 1 and Recreational Level 2 courses. You can either book a course with us on one of our set dates, or gather a group and book a course at your convenience.

We know that courses can be cost prohibitive, especially for those living in mountain towns with a high cost of living. Check out the PI Avalanche Fund, which offers scholarships to individuals looking to further their avalanche education, and memorializes our good friend and former guide, Peter Inglis.

Contact the Mountain Trip office with any additional questions.

New participants will learn the basics of companion rescue, while returning participants will expand their skill set with advanced topics and realistic scenario practice to help improve their skills after the course. This course meets guidelines set by the American Avalanche Association and also meets guidelines set by the International Commission for Alpine Rescue (ICAR).  This course expands beyond what students learn in a Level 1 to more complex rescue scenarios. Students receive a certification card at the end of the course.

This course is recommended for novice and experienced recreational backcountry travelers, and aspiring snow professionals alike. Locals to the Telluride area are eligible for scholarships through the Telluride Mountain Club in collaboration with the Peter Inglis Avalanche Education Fund.

Participants must bring appropriate gear for snow travel (skis or splitboard with skins or snowshoes), avalanche equipment (beacon, shovel, probe) and appropriate outerwear for a day in the mountains. The course will run storm or shine, so please come prepared for the elements. All students are expected to bring, and be familiar with using, a three-antennae avalanche transceiver with a flagging function.

The course runs one day from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

  • Review personal protective and avalanche rescue equipment
  • Identify and familiarize students with winter personal protective, avalanche rescue, and self-evacuation equipment and their proper use
  • Demonstrate and practice routines to check gear’s function
  • Demonstrate avalanche rescue
  • Introduce Avalanche Rescue Quick Reference tool and apply it to a scenario
  • Breakdown and practice individuals skills of avalanche rescue: assessing the scene and taking leadership, using a transceiver, using a probe, and shoveling
  • Single burial scenarios
  • Learn to set up effective scenarios for practice
  • Integrate individual skills into a rescue scenario

Learning Outcomes

  • Describe what to do if they or a member of their party is caught in an avalanche
  • Identify and be able to use gear necessary for avalanche rescue.
  • Set up a realistic scenario in order to practice an avalanche rescue response.
  • Improve their response skills and times during and after the course with feedback from instructors and peers.
  • Develop a plan for continued practice

Mountain Trip operates under a special use permit in the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests. We provide services and employment opportunities regardless of an individual’s ethnic or cultural heritage, religious beliefs, sexual orientation or physical handicap.

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