Pro 1 Bridge Exam

Professional avalanche worker training is undergoing big changes for the 2017/18 season. Click here a description of the Professional Program.

The Pro 1 Bridge Exam is an opportunity for individuals who currently have a Level 2 to challenge the test in the Pro 1 under the new system.  

The focus of the Pro 1 Bridge will be on evaluating the skills of each student at the Pro 1 standard through both written and field examination.  A student planning to participate in a Pro 1 Bridge Exam MUST be familiar with the Pro 1 evaluation standards and practiced with the techniques that will be evaluated during the condensed course.  Prior practice and preparation are essential to successfully passing a Pro 1 Bridge Exam and gaining recognized equivalency at the Pro 1 standard.

The Bridge Exam is the testing component of a Pro 1.  Make sure you are ready for it. You may benefit from some targeted training prior to the Bridge Course. Contact us about customized training courses.

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: station weather observations, snow profiles and snowpack tests, and the written exam.  Skills are taught to the standards documented in the Snow Weather and Avalanches: Observational Guidelines for Avalanche Programs in the United States (SWAG 3rd edition).

Who should take this course?

Bridge course applicants are required to be currently working (guides, patrollers, forecasters, instructors) and to provide proof they are routinely applying SWAG guidelines to daily observations and participating in their operation’s risk assessment. Students who are not currently in the workplace are advised to take the  PRO 1 course, rather than the Pro 1 Bridge course.

Student Requirements for Enrollment: Course applicants have completed the following AAA-recognized courses prior to enrollment:

  • Level 2 Avalanche Course (A3 standards, AIARE or AAI)
  • Avalanche Rescue Fundamentals (AAA approved)


  • One winter season (20 days or more) of relevant experience (demonstrated through one of following).
  • Prior avalanche work experience;


  • A supervised unpaid work internship in the guiding/avalanche industry supported by a letter of reference;


  • Winter backcountry travel experience supported by documented trip planning and recorded field observations that contributed to avalanche hazard assessment and personal avalanche risk management;


  • Letter of Recommendation from AAA professional member; OR
  • AAA Membership (Affiliate or Professional)

*Applicants who believe they have the educational equivalent of the above-listed prerequisites can apply to the AAA for a Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) review. Contact us with questions.

Course Details

Bridge courses run for 2 days, 8:00am – 5:00pm daily.

  • Dates: Offered throughout the season, contact us for dates.
  • Cost: varies per venue
  • Student: Instructor Ratio: 6:1

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 are closed (best arrive early if the weather forecast is big).

Reading List

Prior to the course the applicant is expected:

  • Student workbook— including the Introductory chapter exercise and case study, and the questions following chapters 1 and 2.
  • The Snow, Weather and Avalanches Guidelines (2016 ed).
  • The Avalanche Handbook.

Students are encouraged to make healthy, restful choices as they are planning personal logistics for this class.  Budgeting for warm, dry, comfortable overnight accommodations is advised.