New Courses for 2017-2018

Our recreational and professional avalanche courses

Professional Avalanche Training 1

Take your avalanche education to the next level with Professional Avalanche Training 1 (Pro 1). This course is designed for avalanche workers just starting in the field and want to learn how to recognize avalanche terrain, travel through terrain and gain a more technical understanding of how avalanches work.

Intermediate Backcountry Skiing & Boarding

Intermediate Backcountry Skiing takes students who’ve graduated from an AIARE Avalanche 1 course and builds on backcountry touring skills/techniques for planning and engaging in ski tours independently. Based in a hut high in the beautiful San Juan mountains  allows for more field time and an intimate interaction with the snow environment.


This course introduces the student to “the state of the art” in avalanche rescue for the professional and is intended for any avalanche professional and rescuers who will encounter avalanche rescue. Learn techniques that have been practiced in actual rescues and published in peer reviewed scientific publications.

Companion Rescue

This is a great opportunity to learn or advance your avalanche rescue response skills. Course offers students the perfect backcountry setting to practice skills through realistic scenarios. Available for both skiers and snowmobilers at multiple locations.



Since 1962 the Silverton Avalanche School has educated skiers, snowboarders, snowmobilers, ski patrollers, search and rescue personnel, and public safety about the hazards of avalanches. Over 4,000 students have learned how to recognize avalanche hazards, determine snow stability, organize and carry out rescue operations and handle avalanche emergencies.

Our avalanche courses offer an intensive learning environment for established riders, boarders, and skiers to further develop their backcountry skills and avalanche knowledge using the latest in Avalanche research and snow science.

We provide students with the opportunity to asses a wide variety of situations through our carefully crafted field exercises, realistic simulations and detailed scenarios that enhance the critical skills, perceptual cues, and knowledge needed to make better decisions with greater accuracy and success.  Our backyard has some of the best backcountry terrain in Colorado, with direct access to avalanche paths and varied snowpack— a natural avalanche laboratory —offering students an active and accessible classroom environment.



We began teaching avalanche courses over 53 years ago! Since 1962 we have taught over 4,000 students how to recognize avalanche hazards, determine snow stability, organize and carry out rescue operations and handle avalanche emergencies

Our Instructors

All of our courses are taught by nationally recognized members of the American Avalanche Association (AAA), American Institute of Avalanche Research and Education (AIARE), the Canadian Avalanche Association. We  bring in talented avalanche professionals, mountain rescue specialists, Lead Mountain Weather and Avalanche Forecasters, GIS professionals,  Snow Studies Specialists, and Snow System Monitoring Experts who have operational experience guiding, patrolling, forecasting and studying avalanche processes.  

Preferred by Professionals

Silverton Avalanche School is the Nation’s most respected Avalanche Education provider, hosting courses for avalanche practitioners, professional guides, patrollers, forecasters, control specialists, and advanced recreational backcountry travelers seeking professional training and development. Silverton is an ideal training venue, providing unprecedented access to avalanche paths well-known for its unique snowpack, complex terrain, and variable stability.

Avalanche Laboratory

Unlike many avalanche courses, Silverton Avalanche School students gain valuable experience in the vast amount of backcountry terrain rather than a ski area.  The rugged San Juan Mountains surrounding Silverton and its host of avalanche paths provide students with an active and accessible classroom and makes the ideal learning environment for Avalanche terrain recognition, assessment, and selection.