Rec Level 1 Avalanche Course

Our Rec Level 1 Avalanche Course is designed to teach the fundamentals of making sound decisions while traveling in avalanche terrain. This course includes three days of in-depth, hands-on instruction in the backcountry with an AMGA-trained or certified avalanche instructor. It is a nationally recognized Rec Level 1 course and serves as a great foundation to build upon as you enter the world of backcountry recreation.

Each day, students will travel into the backcountry ski terrain of the San Juan Mountains in small groups with their instructor, where they will engage in an intensive training and experiential curriculum that covers using the Avalanche Triangle basics of companion avalanche rescue, interpretation of avalanche bulletins, and employing a backcountry field notebook. 

This course is geared toward recreational and professional audiences looking to build solid winter backcountry skills. Open enrollment group trips and private trips are available beginning December 10, 2021 (dates and pricing are listed in the sidebar). The course includes a beacon, shovel, and probe. We do have rental gear available; however, we strongly suggest using this as an opportunity to bring and practice with your own backcountry gear. Online reading materials and a pre-course assessment will be provided to students 10 days before the in-person field session begins. To make a reservation, please click one of the links below. 

Book a Private Course Join an Open Course

Open enrollment courses are only available to those who have some experience with winter backcountry travel, as we do intend to travel in the backcountry on skis and splitboards during the course. If you are looking for an introduction to basic backcountry touring skills, please sign up for our Intro to Backcountry Skiing course prior to joining an avalanche course. If you are snowshoeing or snowmobiling, you must book a private trip with a self-selected group.

All Rec Level 1 courses will include our Avalanche Rescue Course. Students who have already completed a one-day avalanche rescue course within the last year can sign up with us for a two-day Rec Level 1 Avalanche Course. The price is $150 less, and you will join the weekend portion of one of our three-day courses. Please call the Mountain Trip office directly to make a reservation.

After the course has concluded, each student will receive a 1-year Colorado Outdoor Recreation Search and Rescue (CORSAR) card and membership to Friends of Colorado Avalanche Information Center (CIAC).

Additionally, 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.

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