PRO Avalanche Rescue Workshop

Professional Avalanche Rescue Workshop

Professional avalanche worker training is undergoing big changes for the 2018/19 season. Learn about the full course progression here.

This course introduces the student to “the state of the art” in avalanche rescue for the professional. We have been teaching avalanche rescue for professionals for over 8 years. This course is intended for any avalanche professional and rescuers who will encounter avalanche rescue. We teach to international standards set by the International Commission for Alpine Rescue (ICAR). We have modeled the 2019 course to meet the draft guidelines proposed by the American Avalanche Association.

This course also includes medical training that covers ICAR-Med Comm guidelines.

This course is intended for professional rescuers and medical practitioners.

Course Directors:
• Jim Donovan, SAS Director
• Jay Mathers, DO


  • Peter Hackett, MD
  • Charles Mains, MD
  • Scott McIntosh, MD
  • Leo Lloyd, RN EMT-P 

Instructors all have a strong operational, rescue and emergency medical background.  Our world class rescue and medical faculty will teach techniques that have been published in peer reviewed scientific publications and practiced in actual rescues.


Skills Learned

  • Avalanche accident scene safety, size-up and risk management
  • Witness interview
  • Search theory and strategy
  • Avalanche site marking
  • Understanding transceiver technology
  • Single burials
  • Multiple burials
  • Multiple burial techniques 3 circle method, micro strip method
  • Utilization of advanced transceiver features
  • ICS for avalanche rescue
  • Incident management and resource management
  • Avalanche victim extrication
  • Probing techniques
  • Digging techniques
  • Medical care of the avalanche victim
  • Avalanche Dogs
  • Recco
  • Helicopter Operations
  • On scene Communications

Students Requirements for Enrollment

Course applicants must have completed the following AAA-recognized courses prior to enrollment:

  1. Level 1 Avalanche Fundamentals
  2. Avalanche Rescue Fundamentals
  3. Online ICS 100 and 200 completion certificates (proof of course completion needed)

One winter season (20 days or more) of relevant experience (demonstrated through one of the following).

  1. Prior avalanche work experience; OR
  2. A supervised unpaid work internship in the guiding or avalanche industry, supported by a letter of reference; OR
  3. Winter backcountry travel experience supported by documented trip planning and recorded field observations that contributed to avalanche hazard assessment and personal avalanche risk management; OR
  4. A Letter of Recommendation from AAA professional member; OR
  5. AAA Membership (Affiliate or Professional)

Marking and Evaluation: 70% total marks are required to pass the course. Specific categories requiring a “categorical pass” of 70% to pass the course include: practical rescue exam, avalanche accident assessment and management, witness interview, & written exam.

Course Logistics

Course runs 3 days, 8am to 5pm daily.

Dates: February 1st -3rd, 2019

Cost: $600 per person

Student: Instructor Ratio: 8:1

Not Included: Lodging, Food, Transportation. Please see our Getting Here page for logistics. 

Custom Course

Silverton Avalanche School can travel to your operation for custom training! We have extensive experience teaching alpine rescue techniques along with avalanche rescue which allows us to provide top quality training for the US Airforce Pararescue, Combat tactical controllers and many more. 

Interested in discussing a custom training? Contact us at to setup a training that fits your goals, abilities and schedule needs. You can also learn more about our custom Pro Avalanche Course workshops by clicking here. 

Interested in Attending?