This 9-hour Introduction to Avalanche Course is designed specifically for those traveling by foot (not with skis or snowmobiles) in avalanche terrain.  The field-course will focus specifically to ice climbers, the class room session will also apply to hunters, snowshoers, etc.   Our course content follows guidelines outlined by The American Avalanche Association with emphasis and additional focus to ice climbers.  In the field we will focus on making safe decisions on the fly in terrain and situations encountered by ice climbers where risks may be small isolated snow pockets in cliffy terrain or terrain thousands of feet above our climbing objectives.

Prerequisites: Past ice climbing experience.  Proficiency on WI3 ice climbing terrain. Knowledge of knots, belaying, & rappelling.  Consider our Intro to Ice Course to gain basic skills

Course Content

1) Recognize & avoid obvious avalanche hazard
2) Understand and apply current avalanche advisory

A brief introduction to:

  • Avalanche statistics and human factors
  • Avalanche terminology
  • Avalanche terrain
  • Snowpack and weather factors
  • Obvious clues and red flags
  • Trip Planning and Preparation
  • Avalanche bulletins
  • Simple decision tools (ALP TRUTh, RYG Light etc.)
  • Travel protocols
  • Companion recovery

3) Understand how layered snow contributes to avalanching
4) Understand basic companion rescue

Field examples & hands on training:

  • Avalanche terrain and terrain traps
  • Basic route selection
  • Snowpack layering
  • Current snowpack conditions and weather effects (bulletin)
  • Companion recovery including probing, shoveling, beacon use


Course Dates

  • December 8th (evening class on the 7th)
  • December 9th (evening class on the 7th)
  • January 12th (evening class on the 11th)
  • Custom dates available


$195- Complete 9-hour course

$45- 2 hour class session only

*includes ice climbing gear*

*Does not include 3.5% land use charge*


Max 4:1


Class: Montana Alpine Guides- 11 Enterprise Blvd, Bozeman

Field Course: Hyalite Canyon

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