2 part classroom component + 2-day field component

Date | Location: 

Classroom Component | Tuesday 2.16.21 & Thursday 2.18.21 | WEBCAST  6pm-10pm | 8 hours Total

Field Component | Saturday 2.20.21 &  Sunday 2.21.21 | Lost Trail Backcountry 8am-4pm | 16 Hours Total

Price: $400.00

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) guidelines, 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
  • Prioritizing information, working as a team, and minimizing possible human factor traps
  • Next steps

Courses Include:
All Workbooks and Instruction
Lift Tickets if Accessing the Backcountry from a Ski Area

Participants must Provide:
Their own Backcountry Skiing or Splitboarding Equipment
Avalanche Beacon, Shovel, Probe
Transportation to the course location
Their own Food on Field Days


Classroom: All classroom session presentations will be provided over Zoom or Crowdcast. You will be provided login information after registering.

Field Days: To help facilitate smaller touring and field learning group sizes these classes will now be taught by 1 lead instructor and 2 additional instructors. Groups will split in half for each field day and one group will practice avalanche rescue, beacon skills, group dynamics, and snowpits, and the other group will focus on touring decisions, group dynamics, terrain selection, and snowpits and snow stability evaluation. This change will increase our cost to run these courses substantially, but we value your health, safety, and want your experience to lead to the best possible learning outcome.

Cancelation Policy: 

STANDARD POLICY –  If notice of cancellation is received within 30 days of the course we will offer a full refund. If notice is received 14-30 days before the course we will offer a 50% refund of course costs. If notice of cancellation is received within 14 days of the course no refund can be given.

COVID 19 ADAPTION – Course Participants will receive a $50 paypal tuition credit if they can document that they have purchased a Allianz Travel Insurance Policy. When we priced several of these policies that cover late stage cancellations, we found that trip insurance could be purchased for close to amount of money we will refund you from your tuition payment. Different participant ages, travel itineraries, & coverage choices will affect the policy cost. If you feel sick we want you stay home, but we understand that the tuition cost can complicate that decision. Please feel free to explore this option more here 

If Missoula Avalanche cancels the course for any reason, a full refund of course tuition will be given. Missoula Avalanche is not responsible for any additional costs incurred, such as airline tickets, hotel rooms, equipment, medical expenses, etc.

This course is offered in partnership with the University of Montana Outdoor Program.


Course Registration:

Sorry, this course is full. Please visit the education page for upcoming education events.

Registration information can be found here: