MAG’s Ice Climbers: Level 1 Avalanche Course is designed specifically for ice climbers looking to gain the skills and knowledge for safe backcountry travel in avalanche terrain. The field portion of this course will cater specifically to ice climbers, with a focus on making safe decisions on-the-fly in terrain and situations encountered by those traveling without skis, where risks may be small isolated snow pockets in cliffy terrain, or terrain thousands of feet above our climbing objectives. This course meets all national guidelines set forth by the American Avalanche Association; including material covered, duration, classroom, and field components. Our 24-hour course includes self-paced online learning followed by a zoom meeting with your educator prior to attending two 8-hour field days. Field day locations take place in and around Cooke City, MT.

Prerequisites: Past ice climbing experience. Proficiency on WI3 ice climbing terrain. Knowledge of knots, belaying, & rappelling.


I had a great time on the course with Ryan, he was great on all levels, not surprised though, this is what I have come to expect from MAG. This course was very well worth it even though I have already taken Level 1 and 2 for skiing. On top of it being a great review, it was super helpful having higher-end discussion in a small group setting, it seemed to be more practical. It was great looking at the terrain in a bigger picture, not only do you cover traveling in avi terrain but it helped to look at objective hazards on tricky sections, like traverses to access climbs, all the while forecasting for overhead danger. It opened up a lot of discussion points about critical thinking when climbing. I would recommend this course for anyone climbing on snowy mountains but it is also great for skiers who want continued education, review, and practice seeing avalanche terrain from a different perspective.

-Anthony Somoza

I took the Ice Climbers Avalanche 1 course taught by Ryan Griffiths. I found the course to be extremely beneficial. As someone who does not ski much, traditional avalanche courses do not fully cover the terrain I find myself traveling in while ice and alpine climbing. This course made me feel very confident to assess complex terrain in the alpine. The online pre course work was great and set me up to be prepared for class. The class was a mix of discussions and in field terrain assessment. We were able to travel around Cooke City and approach ice climbs while discussing how to mitigate hazards on the approach and determine the risk posed by overhead hazard that is not accessible to assess. This course was extremely educational and a lot of fun and I would recommend it to any ice or alpine climber wanting to venture out into bigger, snowier, and more complex terrain.

-Pat Marrinan (Montana Mountain Medicine)

Course Duration

  • 2-Field Days (8am-5pm)
  • 8-Hours of self-paced online learning
  • 2-Hour live zoom meeting with educator prior to field day (6-8pm)

Course Dates

  • January 11-12, 2024

Don’t see course dates to match your schedule? Book a Private Course for any dates!




5:1 (max of 5 participants, 1 guides)

MINIMUM ENROLLMENT: 3 participants

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