Avalanche Level 1

Course Description

24 hours of instruction (2 field days + evening meeting + self-paced online learning) 515 - 550

The Level 1 provides a solid foundation in avalanche knowledge and skills.  The AAI Backcountry Avalanche Checklist helps to focus the curriculum around a systematic approach to sorting and prioritizing information in the complex environment of decision-making in the backcountry.  We will travel in the backcountry, in and around avalanche terrain.  The classroom portion of the course will be online, with the majority of it self-paced online learning.

This course focuses on the following:

  • Basic avalanche terminology
  • Recognizing avalanche terrain
  • Travel procedures in avalanche terrain
  • Formation of the mountain snowpack
  • How weather changes the snowpack
  • Human factors and how they can influence decision-making
  • Interpreting the avalanche forecast bulletin
  • Tour planning
  • Avalanche transceiver use and rescue skills
  • Field observations of terrain, snowpack, and weather
  • Basic use and interpretation of stability tests
  • Use of the Backcountry Avalanche Checklist in the field to provide a system for prioritizing information, working as a team, and minimizing possible human factor traps
  • Classroom decision-making scenarios to practice use of the checklist
  • Next steps

Recommended Reading

  • Snow Sense, Jill Fredston & Doug Fesler
  • Staying Alive in Avalanche Terrain, Bruce Tremper
  • Avalanche Essentials, Bruce Tremper

Additional Information

What is included on a course: 

  1. Professional instruction
  2. Course workbooks
  3. Online/classroom and field instruction
  4. Lift tickets (unless otherwise noted), if the course is operating out of a ski area

What is not included on a course:

  1. Transportation to and from the trailhead
  2. Personal gear
  3. Avalanche rescue gear
  4. Food

Still have questions? See our frequently asked questions section for details on gear, skill levels, and more.

Search Courses

Course City State Dates Cost
Level 1 Course Salt Lake City UT 01/26-01/28 $ 550 Wait-list
Level 1 Course Bozeman MT 02/04-02/06 $ 515 Wait-list
Level 1 Course Salt Lake City UT 02/04-02/06 $ 550 Wait-list
Level 1 Course Park City UT 02/18-02/20 $ 550 Wait-list
Level 1 Course Jackson WY 02/18-02/20 $ 515 Sign Up! (13/18 spots taken)
Level 1 Course Bozeman MT 02/18-02/20 $ 515 Wait-list
Level 1 Course Salt Lake City UT 02/23-02/25 $ 550 Wait-list
Level 1 Course Jackson WY 02/25-02/27 $ 515 Sign Up! (12/18 spots taken)
Level 1 Course Salt Lake City UT 03/04-03/06 $ 550 Wait-list
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