Nina Hance is an avalanche course instructor for AAI. She is based in Bozeman, Montana and rides and trains horses in her free time. One of her favorite avalanche education courses to teach are hut based, as they allow for more impactful interaction with students, and also give her a comedic stage.

What avalanche courses do you teach?

Recreational Avalanche Level 1, Recreational Avalanche Level 2

What is your favorite snow story?

I teach a lot of hut-based avalanche education courses, and one of the meals we serve is spaghetti. The following day, I like to teach students about basal facets. When they ask me what a basal facet is, I say “You know, basil? Like the stuff we had in spaghetti last night.” And then everyone laughs.

What was the path that led you to avalanche education?  

While going through the ski guide certification process, I interned at the avalanche center, which lead into teaching. Teaching is a great complement to guiding. I love teaching and interacting with people, and in doing so I learn and think so much more about snow than if I only guided.

Why do you enjoy teaching?

I want to share my personal experiences and knowledge to help others make better decisions in the backcountry and empower people to learn more.

What do you do with your offseason?

I ride and train horses


Courses With AAI

Our instructors are the core of your experience with the American Avalanche Institute. They bring the science and knowledge of avalanche safety to life in real-world settings. If you’re interested in learning more from Jake, or one of our other amazing instructors check out our full course offerings today.

Our instructors are the core of your experience with the American Avalanche Institute.  They bring the science and knowledge of avalanche safety to life in real-world settings.  If you’re interested in learning more fromone of our amazing instructors check out our full course offerings today.