Backcountry 101: Motorized February 27 & March 1
Backcountry 101: Motorized February 27 & March 1

Backcountry 101: Motorized February 27 & March 1

February 27, 2020
March 01, 2020
Regular price
Sale price

Course Description

Learn riding and avalanche skills from the pros in a 1-evening & 1-day class with the Utah Avalanche Center.  Riding in the backcountry is more fun when you understand avalanches and have solid riding skills. Nobody wants to be that partner that can't be part of the decisions-making-process or be counted on during a rescue.

Who should take this course?

This class is for Snowmobiler and Snowbiker riders who go into the backcountry in winter.  We highly recommend that you have some previous experience with your equipment such as 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. 

What is required for this course?

This is an introductory level course and therefore can be your first avalanche education course. For this course, you are required to provide your machine. 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. If you need to purchase rescue equipment, you can do so here. A portion of your sale benefits the Utah Avalanche Center.

Course Goals

  • Describe the equipment necessary for winter backcountry travel.
  • Recognize that most fatal avalanche accidents were triggered by the people involved and that preparation and training prior to backcountry travel can save lives.
  • Find and interpret local mountain weather forecast and avalanche advisory information.
  • Differentiate avalanche terrain from terrain where avalanches can not occur.
  • Describe a basic process to manage risk for winter backcountry travel. 

Course Objectives

  • Perform basic skills required for companion rescue.
  • Interpret an avalanche forecast.
  • Create a trip plan for field day.
  • Perform safe travel techniques to avoid avalanche terrain.

Spend an evening learning the avalanche basics 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.  Got kids ready to get in the backcountry? This is a great way to introduce new riders to the backcountry and to get out with family and friends. Minimum age 14 - contact Bo Torrey ( if you want to bring someone younger.

On Saturday, we will head into the backcountry near Thousand Peaks Ranch. Instructors will take the class out for a day of riding, showing you how to identify avalanche terrain and travel safely through the terrain. We'll get you up to speed on how to use your rescue gear to find and rescue a buried partner.  We will talk about choosing appropriate terrain for different avalanche problems and how to work together as a group during a day of riding.

Riding Ability: Must be proficient in general snowmobile or snowbike operation. Ability to get machine on edge and ride off-trail.

Gear:  You will need...

  • Snowmobile or Snowbike
  • A Backpack with avalanche safety gear (shovel, probe) stored inside. 
    • Food
    • Water
    • Beacon
    • Shovel
    • Probe

Thursday Night:  We’ll meet from 6:00-9:30 pm Karl Malone Polaris (900 S Main St, Heber City, UT 84032)

Sunday:  Field day will be held at the Private Thousand Peaks Ranch in the Western Uintas.

Do you have your own personal avalanche safety gear? If not, check out the "Fitting Room" to purchase your own safety gear. Every purchase from the link benefits the Utah Avalanche Center. Click the link here

Cancellation policy: Our classes generally fill up.  If you can't attend the class, please let us know by 5 pm Friday afternoon the week before class for a partial refund- We will refund all but $25. If you cancel after that but more than 24 hours before the evening class, we'll refund all but $65 of your fee. After 5 pm the day before class, there will be no refund. 

For questions or more information contact