Avalanche Rescue Course
Our Avalanche Rescue Course focuses on the latest companion rescue tools and techniques, and the steps to take if someone in your party is caught in an avalanche. It is a one-day, stand-alone course recommended for anyone venturing into backcountry avalanche terrain.
Students will join one of our AMGA trained or certified avalanche instructors in the backcountry of the San Juan Mountains near Telluride, CO, where they will learn the basics of companion rescue, including scene size-up, transceiver search, strategic probing and shoveling, patient extrication and management, and what to carry on a day of backcountry touring. All students will have the opportunity to get professional coaching and direct feedback from an instructor on their rescue competence, and the day will finish with timed practice in realistic rescue scenarios.
This course is included in our Level 1 Avalanche Course, and is required as a prerequisite for both the Level 2 Avalanche Course and the Professional Avalanche Progression. It should be taken as a refresher every few years to keep skills sharp and up-to-date. To make a reservation, please click below.
Additional Course Info
- Winter backcountry travel skills on skis or a splitboard are a prerequisite to taking this course, as we will cover terrain that moves up and downhill in variable conditions not found on a ski resort. (If you’re looking to learn basic backcountry travel skills, check out our Intro to Backcountry Skiing trip).
- If you are snowshoeing, you must book a private trip as an individual or with a self-selected group.
- We have rental gear available (see below); however, we strongly suggest bringing and practicing with your own backcountry kit.
- Beacon, shovel and probe (and ski backpack upon request) – $50 for the course.
- Ski touring kit (includes skis, boots, skins and poles) – $100 for the course.
- This course does not cover various snow pit stability tests, snow crystal analysis or recognition of hazardous avalanche terrain.
- After the course has concluded, each student will receive a one-year Colorado Outdoor Recreation Search and Rescue (CORSAR) card and membership to Friends of Colorado Avalanche Information Center (CAIC).
Avalanche Rescue + Backcountry WFA
This year, we’ll also be offering a three-day Avalanche Rescue + Winter Wilderness First-Aid/CPR Course. This is the ideal course option for the backcountry user who is looking to continue their education and gain or refresh valuable skills related to avalanche rescue skills and wilderness first aid skills.
The course will be run in combination with Mountain Trip and Mountain West Rescue (a Desert Mountain Medicine provider) to provide a combination of the avalanche rescue curriculum as well as specific wilderness first-aid and CPR skills related to the avalanche victim and patient care in a winter environment.
We know courses can be cost prohibitive, especially for those living in mountain towns with a high cost of living. For assistance, 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.
If you have questions or are unsure of where to start in your backcountry progression, please contact the Mountain Trip office at [email protected] or (970) 369-1153.