The Rec Level 1 Avalanche Course provides a complete introduction to the avalanche phenomenon, avalanche terrain, decision-making, and rescue
Aspen Expedition’s customized instruction maximizes student learning outcomes as they relate to backcountry travel. Aspen Expeditions has been teaching avalanche courses since 1980 and has an intimate knowledge of the Colorado snowpack. The avalanche instructors, IFMGA/AMGA trained/certified ski guides, have extensive experience guiding, teaching and skiing the backcountry. AE has partnered up with the 10th Mountain Division Hut Association to offer the Recreational Level I Avalanche Courses in the ideal backcountry learning environment. These two-night, three-day courses enable all participants to experience backcountry conditions within the Hut system by using the backcountry huts as a base for the course and fieldwork.
The dates for our hut-based Level 1 Avalanche Courses are:
- January 5th – 7th, 2024 at the Sangree M Froelicher Hut
- January 19th – 21st, 2024 at the Margy’s Hut
- February 23rd – 25th, 2024 at the Sangree M Froelicher Hut
- March 1st – 3rd, 2024 at the Sangree M Froelicher Hut
The Level 1 Course includes +/-8 hours of classroom instruction and +/-16 hours of field instruction.
Subjects covered include:
- Types of avalanches
- Characteristics of avalanches
- How avalanches form and release
- Assessing avalanche terrain
- Trip planning and preparation
- Route Finding Decision making
- Avalanche gear review (beacons, probes, airbags, etc.)
- Rescue protocols and procedures
Students that are a great fit for our Avalanche Courses – Any current or future backcountry skier / rider that knows how to skin uphill and is familiar with their backcountry uphill equipment and how to use it. This person has ideally skied off-piste in untracked snow before and can safely ski single black diamond terrain inbounds.
Students that may not be a great fit for our Avalanche Courses – Beginner skiers and riders and anyone that has not used uphill skinning equipment before the course and those that are not familiar with how to use their gear. We do offer private avalanche education courses on request for those that may need extra instruction and for non-skiers / riders that may prefer to snowshoe or cross-country ski.
3 days, 2 nights
Some skiing experience necessary
Maximum Guide Ratio
- AE and AMGA trained/certified guide
- Hut fees
- Beacon, shovel, and probe (if you have your own, you should practice with it!)
- Field book & student fees
- Personal skiing/riding equipment
- Sleeping bag
- Meals & snack food
- Guide gratuity
Your instructor will send you an email prior with more information about the course, classroom instruction, and meeting location.
- Day 1 – 8:00 am: Field instruction
- Day 2 – 8:00 am: Field instruction
- Day 3 – 8:00 am: Field instruction
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