Select Page

Avalanche Courses

Photo: @johnonolan, Unsplash

Avalance Courses 2021/2022

by | Nov 6, 2021

Overview of Avalanche Courses


One of the most important skills for backcountry skiing is avalanche safety and understanding and navigating avalanche terrain.  Many skiers choose low-angle terrain when starting out with the sport so that early outings in their backcountry career exist in safe, fun terrain. Sadly though, every year though the number of avalanche deaths in the US increases. In 2020 there were 34 deaths due to avalanches in the US, making 2020 the deadliest in 11 years.


If you plan to venture out into the backcountry this year you should seriously consider taking an avalanche safety course.  If you already have taken one you should consider taking a refresher or higher-level course.


About Avalanche Safety Courses

Avalanche courses in the US are split into two tracks, recreational track or professional track. Under the recreational track are 4 courses: Avalanche Awareness, Level 1 Avalanche, Avalanche Rescue, and Level 2 Avalanche.

For the professional track the progression goes as follows: Avalanche Awareness, Level 1 and Avalanche Rescue, Professional Avalanche SAR, Professional Avalanche 2. More detail about both courses is included below.


What’s Covered in the Courses


Recreational Courses


Professional Track





Latest Articles

Descriptions of Avalanche Courses

Recreational Courses



Aspiring backcountry travelers. Always wanted to explore snowy mountainous terrain? Gain an introduction to the avalanche phenomenon, causes and risk. Learn where you can find the gear, resources, and training to responsibly enjoy winter recreation. Begin to recognize and avoid avalanche terrain.

Level 1 Avalanche

LEVEL 1: Current and aspiring backcountry travelers. This three-day course (24 hours of instruction, combination classroom and field), taught by experienced avalanche professionals, will introduce you to the concepts of avalanche hazard assessment, decision-making, and rescue. One of two foundational courses in the A3’s recommended progression, the Level 1 will provide you with a sound understanding of the basics, including tools you can use to make decisions about when to go/not go and how to conduct yourself in and around avalanche terrain. This is a cornerstone course for any person who travels in snowy mountainous terrain.

No prerequisite

Avalanche Rescue

RESCUE: Any individual who travels in snowy mountainous terrain. This one-day course (8 hours of instruction, combination classroom and field) focuses exclusively on how to be prepared and respond to an avalanche incident. Gain hands-on experience with techniques of companion rescue. Most avalanches that carry and/or bury a person are triggered by that person or someone in their party; an immediate response by member(s) of the group involved is the best chance for survival. Avalanche Rescue is one of two foundational courses in the A3’s recommended progression. Be ready to save a life; always travel with someone you trust to save yours.

No prerequisite

Level 2 Avalanche

LEVEL 2: Advancing winter backcountry recreationalists with prior avalanche training and experience. Are you a dedicated winter recreationalist who yearns to explore more challenging and complex avalanche terrain? If you’ve taken the Level 1 and Avalanche Rescue and are continuing to venture into the winter backcountry, then the Level 2 course is for you. Build upon the foundation you developed during your prior training. Gain a deeper understanding of the nuances and intricacies of avalanches. Further hone your hazard assessment and decision-making skills. Begin to understand how to choose terrain to match the current avalanche conditions.

Prerequisites: Level 1 and Avalanche Rescue.

Professional Courses


Bridge Course

BRIDGE COURSE: Fast-track 1 or 2 day course that covers the Pro 1 evaluation and course proficiencies for individuals to gain recognition within the new system. This course is for current avalanche professionals ready for Pro1 evaluation who need minimal refresher skills before being tested. Individuals must pass the Bridge Course to gain Pro 1 recognition in the new system. Bridge courses will be offered through the transition period 2017-2020.

Prerequisites: Level 2 and at least one full winter season of relevant work experience. Prior practice and preparation for Pro1 standards and techniques recommended.

Professional avalanche 1

PRO 1: Entry-level avalanche professionals, newly employed or seeking employment within the industry, and/or seasoned avalanche professionals who wish to refresh their skills and get up-to-speed with current practices. The five-day Pro 1 course focuses on skills and proficiencies to enable an individual to be a contributing member of an operational avalanche program. The student will be taught, coached, and evaluated on the proficiencies required of a skilled observer who effectively collects and contributes professional information and opinions to risk management discussions and operational decisions.

Prerequisites: Level 1, Avalanche Rescue, and at least one full winter season of relevant experience.

 Professional avalanche 2

PRO 2: Developing avalanche professionals with several seasons of applied professional experience and/or seasoned professionals looking to develop skills applicable to leadership roles within their operation. The six-day Pro 2 course focuses on skills and proficiencies that enable the student to step into a leadership role within an operational avalanche program. The student will be taught, coached, and evaluated on operational risk management decision-making skills, including forecasting, risk mitigation strategies, and professional communication.

Prerequisites: Pro 1 certificate, at least two full winter seasons of operational avalanche experience (verified by a letter of reference), and submission of examples of professional documentation.


Professional avalanche SAR search and rescue

PROAVSAR: This stand-alone course supports professional SAR programs and operations. ProAvSAR students may or may not have taken another course in the Pro Training progression. The AAA anticipates that these courses will become an official part of the Pro Training Program starting in winter 2018/19.


Items You Might Enjoy for Skiing

Leatherman Free T4 Multitool

    • UNIVERSAL TOOL: Introducing the FREE T4, the big little multitool designed for everyday problem-solving; Includes all the assets of the T2—plus scissors, tweezers and a heavy-duty file
    • 12 TOOLS IN 1: Cover your everyday essentials and then some, from a 420HC knife to spring-action scissors to tweezers to a variety of screwdrivers
    • OUR GUARANTEE: We’re proud to stand behind every product that leaves our factory in Portland, Oregon; That’s why we offer our 25-year warranty, so you can be confident your Leatherman lasts a lifetime
    • ENHANCED ERGONOMICS: Feels at home in the palm of your hand; Tools pop open with a simple push of your thumb and close with magnetic locking
    • ONE-HAND ACCESS: Every implement is on the outside of the tool; Quickly open and close every tool with a single hand


    Yeti Rambler Half Gallon Jug

    For the hunter that needs a hot cup of Joe –10 hours after it’s brewed

        • Complete with all the features you expect from a Rambler: 18/8 stainless steel, double-wall vacuum insulation, and a No Sweat Design
        • The Gallon Jug also has a full inch of Lid Insulation which ensures your drinks stay frosty or piping hot longer
        • Outfitted with YETI’s MagCap which locks into its dock so you can chug without worry
        • Give your Rambler Jug a home in the truck bed or ATV with the Rambler Jug Mount (sold separately)
        • The dimensions of the Gallon Jug are: 12 1/2 in tall and 6 1/2 in wide

        More From This Category

        Best Leggings For Hiking 2021

        Review We reviewed most leggingsHolly K | May 9, 2020Active outdoor leggings reviewPhoto by Mauro Paillex on UnsplashA lot of outdoorsmen and women want to know what are the best leggings for hiking? It's easy to pick a pair of sporty leggings to go outside with but...

        read more


        We set up partnerships with leading outdoor and travel brands who promote your startup or company through their brand and audience.What is partnership marketing?Partnership Marketing: A Strategic Approach for Business CollaborationMarketing is an essential function...

        read more

        Winter Gear Guide

        Photo: @johnonolan, UnsplashWinter Gear Guide for 2021Well it's not a comprehensive list of everything you need for winter but it might be one for everything you want. We dicided to showcase some of the necessary and not-so necessary, as well as impulse items.  And...

        read more


        Welcome to Adventure grind magazineNew Outdoor Gear For Fall New Ski Articles Subscribe to the magazineRecent Articles  SkiingOldest Skis FoundLocated in a retreating ice pak, the worlds oldest skis were uncovered. But what happened to the owner?AdventureBest...

        read more

        Just so you are aware, this page contains affiliate links. This means if you make a purchase from clicking through one, at no extra cost to you we may earn a commission.