Level 1 Avalanche Course
Our 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 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.
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 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.
- 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).
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.