Recreational Avalanche Courses
Rec Level 1 Course
Our Rec Level 1 Avalanche Course is designed to teach the fundamentals of making sound decisions while traveling in avalanche terrain. This course is ideal for participants who have previous knowledge of their ski touring gear, uphill travel, and are highly skilled downhill skiers and riders. This course includes three days of in-depth, hands-on instruction in the backcountry in addition to a mix of online and in-person classroom learning 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.
In this course, 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 that covers using the Avalanche Triangle basics of companion avalanche rescue, interpretation of avalanche bulletins, and employing a backcountry field notebook.
Rec Level 2 Course
This three-day course is designed for advanced backcountry skiers and riders with a minimum of two full seasons of touring experience. Meticulously refined based upon feedback from previous course graduates, this capstone experience represents the pinnacle of training for recreationalists in the United States. Students are required to have completed a Rec Level 1 and an Avalanche Rescue Course prior to enrollment.
For this course, Mountain Trip utilizes Silverton Avalanche School’s (SAS) Rec Level 2 experiential curriculum, which is rooted in international best practice and offered in the unparalleled field location of the San Juan Mountains. It is led by preeminent snow safety and mountain professionals. Mountain Trip and SAS are proud to offer the most comprehensive, robust and student-centered Rec Level 2 experience available for backcountry recreationalists. This course encourages students to identify their needs and areas for additional skill development as instructors support students via individualized training and learning goals.
Currently, we are offering one open enrollment Rec Level 2 course on March 18-20, 2022. If you are interested in booking a private Rec Level 2 course, please contact the Mountain Trip office directly. 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, please contact the Mountain Trip office.)
- 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 first day; $50 for each day after.
- Pre-course online materials and a mandatory assessment will be provided to students 10 days before the course begins.
- 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 contact the Mountain Trip office to make a reservation.
- After both Rec Level 1 and 2 courses have 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 (CIAC).
- For all Avalanche Courses, we are requiring proof of COVID-19 vaccination in order to participate. Please email yours to [email protected] prior to your course date(s).
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.