March 19: Online Session 6:00-8:00 p.m.
March 20: Field Session 8:00-4:00 p.m. - Snowbasin, Ogden
Upon order completion, you will be sent a confirmation with details to access course materials and student resources.
Due to the current Covid-19 Pandemic and high education demand, if you are already registered for an existing course we are unable to switch your course dates, locations, or reschedule - sorry for any inconvenience.
Skiing and snowboarding are much safer and more fun when you understand avalanche hazard and how to move through the mountains safely. If you’re tired of following your friends who have more experience than you and want to become a valuable member of the team, this is the class for you. Nobody wants to be that partner that can't make informed decisions or be counted on during a rescue. Spend an evening in the virtual classroom and a day on the snow with the pros to learn how to get out in the backcountry, have fun, and come home ready to do it again.
Instructors will use videos, pictures, stories, and exercises to explain avalanche characteristics, snowpack fundamentals, clues to instability, terrain assessment, safe travel protocol, rescue, and decision-making techniques.
You'll learn how to recognize avalanche terrain, make individual and group decisions based on current conditions, and rescue a buried partner.
We will meet and break into groups of 6 and make travel plans based on current conditions. We will spend the day touring the backcountry. We'll assess the snowpack, practice safe route-finding, decision-making, and practice rescue. We encourage all participants to register for a 4-hour Avalanche Rescue Clinic or an 8-hour Avalanche Rescue Course in conjunction with this 101 class.
Who should take this course?
This class is for skiers & snowboarders who go into the backcountry in winter. It is designed as an introductory course for those who are new to backcountry skiing and riding. We highly recommend that you have some familiarity with using your touring equipment ie. transitioning your gear into uphill and downhill mode, turning your transceiver on/off into search mode, assembling your probe, and shovel. You can do this in safe areas away from avalanche terrain. This course can serve as a refresher for those who have previously taken formal avalanche courses and are looking to refresh their skills and learn the most up to date information and techniques.
For this course, you are required to provide your own skis with alpine touring bindings and climbing skins or a split board with climbing skins. We do not allow snowshoes for this course. You’ll also need to provide your own avalanche rescue equipment. You’ll need a modern 457 kHz Digital 3-Antenna beacon, a collapsible probe 240 cm or longer, a collapsible metal shovel, and a backpack to carry your equipment. Make sure that you are familiar with how to assemble your probe and shovel, turn your beacon on and off, and into search/send modes.
Ability Level: To take this course we strongly recommend that you are at least an intermediate to advanced level downhill skiers or snowboarders. That means you are capable and comfortable riding black-diamond slopes within a resort boundary in difficult snow conditions on your same touring equipment.
This is not a learn to ski or snowboard class. If you are unsure of your abilities, please contact Andy@utahavalanchecenter.org If you have never been skiing or snowboarding in the backcountry and want an introduction to the sport, we suggest you contact Utah Mountain Adventures.
Fitness Level: In order to maximize the course experience for you and all students we recommend that you be fit enough to spend the day hiking uphill with skins on and descending slopes in unpredictable snow conditions.
Gear: You will need skis or a split board, boots, bindings, and skins capable of uphill and downhill travel. Please do not show up planning to use snowshoes. You will need an avalanche transceiver, probe, shovel, and backpack. You must be familiar with the basic functions of your equipment and ready to use it.
Additional Gear: You will also need to carry with you everything you would take for a typical day trip in the mountains:
- Extra layers
- First aid and Repair Kit
- Sunglasses & Sunscreen
For our cancellation policy please refer to our website for details.
If you have any questions please email Andy@utahavalanchecenter.org