Morning sessions introduce the concepts to students. Afternoon field sessions in backcountry terrain provide hands-on experience and ensure quality field time with our top-notch staff. Each day students travel into backcountry snowmobile terrain.
These experiential sessions examine topics discussed in the classroom. All students practice companion rescue, route finding and terrain analysis, dig snowpits, and conduct stability tests. All field excursions will be made on snowmobiles and ski bikes.
Our instructors for the Snowmobile Course include Mike Duffy, a pioneer in snowmobile avalanche education in Colorado. All instructors will have good riding skills along with excellent avalanche education skills.
The rugged San Juan Mountains surrounding Silverton have provided the ideal avalanche education classroom since 1962. The Silverton Avalanche School is a member of the American Avalanche Association (A3). Our instructors are avalanche professionals and are certified with AIARE, A3 and/or the Canadian Avalanche Association. Many instructors also have an advanced degree in snow science.
Silverton Avalanche School’s Level I Course continues to be the ideal choice for backcountry sledders, providing the right combination of class time and true backcountry experience.
The comprehensive curriculum includes:
- Terrain Evaluation
- Safe Travel Protocols
- Route Finding
- Tour Preparation
- Decision Making
- Avalanche Equipment
- Companion Rescue
- Human Factors
- Mountain Weather
- Snowpack Development
- Recognizing Instabilities in the Snowpack
- Using Observations and Tests
- Simple Snow Pit Profiles
- Applying Current Avalanche Bulletins to Tour Planning
All courses are 3 days, Friday through Sunday. Friday class begins at 2pm. Saturday and Sunday classes are from 8am to 5pm.
Venue: 12th Street Classroom Silverton, CO
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).
Mike runs his own avalanche education company called Avalanche1 and has pioneered snowmobile avalanche education in Colorado. He is a recognized snowmobile expert in avalanche awareness and has taught over 100 snowmobile specific avalanche courses in Colorado in the past five years. Mike also works as a technical representative for BCA for the snowmobile audiences. Mike has American Avalanche Association Level I &II and AvPro level III certification, teaches at Colorado Mountain College and Silverton Avalanche School and gives snowmobile-specific avalanche classes since 1996.
Visit the Avalanche1 website to learn more.