A full-day, scenario-based seminar, the Avalanche Rescue course primarily focuses on what to do in the direct aftermath of an avalanche. The course is designed to be taken every couple of years to refresh various skills essential to avalanche partner rescue, including beacon searches, probing technique, efficient recovery post-burial and contacting rescue assistance.
This course does not cover various snow pit stability tests, snow crystal analysis, recognition of hazardous avalanche terrain, etc. and is not a substitute for a Level One course. It does not have any pre-requisites, but is required for both Pro Level 1 and Recreational Level 2 courses.
New participants will learn the basics of companion rescue, while returning participants will expand their skill set with advanced topics and realistic scenario practice to help improve their skills after the course. This course meets guidelines set by the American Avalanche Association and also meets guidelines set by the International Commission for Alpine Rescue (ICAR). This course expands beyond what students learn in a Level 1 to more complex rescue scenarios. Students receive a certification card at the end of the course.
Participants must bring appropriate gear for snow travel (skis or splitboard with skins or snowshoes), avalanche equipment (beacon, shovel, probe) and appropriate outerwear for a day in the mountains. The course will run storm or shine, so please come prepared for the elements. All students are expected to bring, and be familiar with using, a three-antennae avalanche transceiver with a flagging function.
- Review personal protective and avalanche rescue equipment
- Identify and familiarize students with winter personal protective, avalanche rescue, and self-evacuation equipment and their proper use
- Demonstrate and practice routines to check gear’s function
- Demonstrate avalanche rescue
- Introduce Avalanche Rescue Quick Reference tool and apply it to a scenario
- Breakdown and practice individuals skills of avalanche rescue: assessing the scene and taking leadership, using a transceiver, using a probe, and shoveling
- Single burial scenarios
- Learn to set up effective scenarios for practice
- Integrate individual skills into a rescue scenario
- Describe what to do if they or a member of their party is caught in an avalanche
- Identify and be able to use gear necessary for avalanche rescue.
- Set up a realistic scenario in order to practice an avalanche rescue response.
- Improve their response skills and times during and after the course with feedback from instructors and peers.
- Develop a plan for continued practice
Who Should Take this Course
The Avalanche Rescue Course is a one-day course aimed both at new and experienced recreationists, and aspiring snow professionals. This course is recommended for novice and experienced recreational backcountry travelers, and aspiring snow professionals alike. Whether you are just getting into the backcountry or have been skiing the local out-of-bounds terrain for years, this avalanche rescue course will help dial in your reaction to an avalanche accident.
Locals to the Telluride area are eligible for scholarships and partial tuition reimbursement through the Telluride Mountain Club in collaboration with the Peter Inglis Avalanche Education Fund. Learn more and apply by visiting their website.
About Mountain Trip
We’re excited to offer courses this winter in conjunction with Mountain Trip, the premiere choice for experienced guides on the world’s biggest mountains, offering professional guiding services in Telluride and beyond. Their staff has experience teaching and guiding all over the world in a variety of different snowpacks and mountain ranges. The San Juan Mountains are where they call home and choose to recreate, teach and guide. They bring this expertise and local knowledge to all of our avalanche courses in Telluride, Colorado. Feel free to contact the Mountain Trip office through email or by phone at +1-970-369-1153 with any questions that you may have about the course. For more information, visit their website at mountaintrip.com.