Decision Making in Avalanche Terrain
This intensive, hands-on training will cover trip planning and preparation, interpretation of the avalanche bulletin, observational techniques for snowpack, weather, and avalanches, terrain analysis, safe travel techniques, and decision-making fundamentals. Students will also learn the elements of companion avalanche rescue and practice using realistic scenarios. It is geared toward skiers, boarders, and other outdoor enthusiasts who want to build winter backcountry skills. This course is a nationally recognized Recreational Avalanche Level 1 Course.
Morning sessions introduce avalanche concepts to students. Afternoon field sessions in backcountry terrain provide hands-on experience and ensure quality field time with our top-notch staff. Each day students travel into the Wolf Creek backcountry terrain in small groups with instructors.
These experiential sessions examine topics discussed in the classroom. All students will be able to practice companion rescue, route finding and terrain analysis, dig snowpits, and conduct stability tests. Unlike many avalanche courses, Silverton Avalanche School students gain practical training in the wild backcountry rather than a ski area.
Students receive valuable input, instant feedback, and vital insight from our instructors who are responsible for mitigating avalanche hazard in Class A avalanche terrain filled with one of the most dangerous snowpacks on earth, where avalanche hazard assessment and reduction is an everyday job. Instructors will help students acquire and enhance the critical skills, perceptual cues, and knowledge needed to make better decisions with greater accuracy and success.
Please note this class is NOT being held in Silverton. Field days will be held at Wolf Creek Pass, renowned for it’s abundant snowfall. Classroom Sessions will be taught in Pagosa Springs, Colorado.
On each field day expect to travel in the backcountry at 11,000. Wolf Creek Pass provides the perfect environment to learn about avalanches, with easy access to large and small avalanche paths and terrain which can be observed safely.