PRO AVSAR

Professional Avalanche Search & Rescue (Pro AvSAR)

Professional avalanche worker training is undergoing big changes for the 2017/18 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).  In the 2018/19 season this course will be a American Avalanche Association professional certification.  We have modeled the 2018 course to meet the draft guidelines proposed by the American Avalanche Association.

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

We teach techniques that have been published in peer reviewed scientific publications and that have been practiced in actual rescues.

Instructors all have a strong operational, rescue and emergency medical background.

Student 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.

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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

Course Details

Course runs 8am to 5pm 

Dates: Wednesday, February 28th 2018

Cost: $500 per person

Student: Instructor Ratio: 8:1

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

Cancellation Policy:   A $35.00 fee is charged for course date transfers. 60% of the course cost can be refunded up to 30 days prior to the course start.  No refunds are provided for cancellations made less than 30 days prior to the start of the course for which you are registered. Unfortunately we cannot give refunds, rainchecks or cancellations if passes into Silverton are closed (best arrive early if the weather forecast is big).

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