Professional Avalanche Training
In 2018, the US avalanche industry has moved to a standardized avalanche training and certification program with oversight by the American Avalanche Association. The Pro Training Program is an industry-designed program that is an important piece in the training puzzle to help our industry continue to improve on our collective professionalism and better achieve course outcomes through common training standards and course consistency. Our professional training staff represents the best of the the avalanche industry with a range of expertise in international guiding, mechanized guiding, transportation, rescue, avalanche operations and hazard mitigation.
The new Pro Training courses – the Pro 1, Pro 2, and Pro AvSAR courses – offer valuable, relevant skill development for avalanche workers at a variety of points in their careers. These programs provide a clear path for avalanche workers just entering the industry, as well as serve as excellent resources for seasoned professionals to gain the most current updates and refresh their skills.
See below for more information. Not sure which is the right course for you? Feel free to contact us by phone at (970) 387-8329 or through email. The AAA has set up a very good FAQ which can be viewed on their website by clicking here.
Pro 1 is designed for avalanche workers just starting in the field. You will learn how to work on a team under direct supervision from a Team Lead. This course covers a lot of the important fundamentals of understanding and managing avalanches. Students learn how avalanche work from a more technical understanding. Students learn how to recognize avalanche terrain, travel through terrain and document snow, avalanche and weather phenomena to the US Industry standard. Upon successful completion of a written test and field test students are awarded certification recognized by the American Avalanche Association. More information can be found here.
Professional Avalanche Training 2
This is the capstone course for Avalanche Professionals in the United States. You will learn how to supervise a team in avalanche terrain. This course drills down into the fundamentals of understanding and managing avalanches. Students learn lead teams through avalanche terrain, travel through terrain and learn how to analyze snow, avalanche and weather phenomena to the US Industry standard. Upon successful completion of a written test and field test students are awarded certification recognized by the American Avalanche Association. More information can be found here.
Pro 1 Bridge Exam
The Pro 1 Bridge Exam is an opportunity for individuals who currently have a Level 2 (taken prior to 2018) to take a challenge test in the new Pro Training Program at the Pro 1 level. The focus of the Pro 1 Bridge will be on evaluating the skills of each student at the Pro 1 standard. A student planning to participate in a Pro 1 Bridge course 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 course and gaining recognized equivalency at the Pro 1 standard. More information can be found here.
Pro Avalanche Rescue
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 the standards set by the International Commission for Alpine Rescue (ICAR). 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. More information can be found here.
Continuing Professional Development
This course teaches avalanche professionals what GIS can do and how they can apply the technology to understanding and monitoring avalanches. Students will build digital maps, explore and analyze the data behind the maps, and learn easy methods to share maps and analyze the results.
By the end of the course students will have a solid understanding of how GIS maps and ArcGIS tools are used to visualize real-world features, discover patterns, obtain information, and communicate that information to others in the context of avalanches. Historically, avalanche professionals have used a wide range of tools to cobble together systems that don’t always work that well. More information can be found here.
The Colorado Avalanche Information Center (CAIC) and the Silverton Avalanche School are offering a 3-day workshop on Mountain Meteorology. Morning sessions will provide a basic understanding of meteorological principles applied to weather in mountainous areas. Afternoon sessions will focus on using publicly available weather information to create a local forecast. Participants will interact with experienced weather forecasters in small groups to generate and present their own forecasts. The workshop is designed for avalanche practitioners, avid recreationalists, and students interested in mountain weather phenomena. Participants are encouraged to bring their own computer with wireless capability for the small group exercises. More information can be found here.