Your Foundation for Winter Mountain Travel

The Level 1 avalanche course is the foundation for the winter backcountry travel. This course is geared toward anyone who wants to get into the wintry mountains: skiers, boarders, climbers, snowshoers. It is an intensive, hands-on course that will provide you with the skills necessary to recognize and evaluate avalanche hazard. This course consists of 27 hours of classroom and field training.

Watch this video of an AAS Level 1

Course Curriculum Includes

  • Companion rescue techniques
  • Terrain analysis
  • An introduction to evaluating snow stability
  • Decision making
  • Route selection 
  • Travel techniques


  • Read Avalanche Essentials by Bruce Tremper. 
  • Complete a pre-test, which is based on the required reading. It will be sent upon enrollment. If you study your pre-course material before the workshop, you will absorb more during the course. 
  • Ability to ski or snowshoe up and downhill in variable terrain and changing snow conditions.
  • Be prepared to remain outside all day in foul weather. 
  • Track the weather in Southcentral Alaska during the weeks prior to the course.  
  • Get out and travel on your field gear so there are no surprises.


Sorry, none scheduled for winter 2017/18. 


  • Three full days (27 hours) of classroom and field instruction
  • Handouts 
  • Field card
  • Floor or bunk space on public courses

Does Not Include

  • Transport. To reduce your costs, using a rental car or your personal car is the best option. If possible, the guide will ride with you. 
  • Lodging, food and drink. See Southcentral Alaska Logistics.  
  • Personal gear. See Alaska Backcountry Ski Gear List.  
  • Rescue and trip insurance. See Booking for details. 
  • Avalanche Essentials, by Bruce Tremper
  • Required avalanche gear:
    • Snow saw: G3 Bone Saw recommended. 
    • Shovel: G3 Avitech Shovel recommended. 
    • Beacon: Pieps DSP Sport recommended. 
    • Inclinometer: any inclinometer will work. 
    • ECT cord: 3m of 2mm accessory cord with overhand knots every 10cm.

Photos from Recreational Level 1 Avalanche Courses