Course Description


24 hours of instruction | 2 evening classroom sessions  + 2 full days within field component

Date | Location: 

1.10.19 – 1.11.19 Classroom Component | University of Montana, Missoula Campus (evening sessions)

1.12.19 – 1.13.19 Field Component | Rattlesnake Wilderness (all day)

Price: $275.00

Avalanche Level 1
The level 1 course is designed for current and aspiring backcountry travelers. This course focuses on developing a solid foundation in avalanche knowledge and backcountry travel skills. Following the American Avalanche Association (A3) curriculum instructors cover systematic approaches for sorting and prioritizing information in the complex environment of decision-making in the backcountry.  Forty percent of the course is classroom based and the other sixty percent is field based. Participants will travel in the backcountry, in and around avalanche terrain.

This course focuses on the following:

  • Basic avalanche terminology
  • Recognizing avalanche terrain
  • Travel procedures in avalanche terrain
  • Formation of the mountain snowpack
  • How weather changes the snowpack
  • Human factors and how they can influence decision-making
  • Interpreting the avalanche forecast and advisory
  • Tour planning
  • Avalanche transceiver use and rescue skills
  • Field observations of terrain, snowpack, and weather
  • Use and interpretation of stability tests
  • Implementing systems for prioritizing information, working as a team, and minimizing possible human factor traps
  • Classroom decision-making scenarios to practice use of the checklist
  • Next steps

Recommended Reading

  • Snow Sense, Jill Fredston & Doug Fesler
  • Staying Alive in Avalanche Terrain, Bruce Tremper
  • Avalanche Essentials, Bruce Tremper

Additional Information

What is included:

  1. Professional instruction
  2. Course workbooks
  3. Classroom and field instruction
  4. Lift tickets (unless otherwise noted), if the course is operating out of a ski area

What is not included:

  1. Transportation to and from the trailhead or ski area
  2. Personal gear
  3. Avalanche rescue gear
  4. Food

Course registration:

Sorry, this course is full. If you would like to join the Rattlesnake Wilderness Level 1 course waitlist please call 406-243-5172 or visit the UM Outdoor Program (East end of the UM Fitness Center).

We look forward to offering this course again in the future. In the meantime, please check out our remaining avalanche level 1 course options. Thanks!