The backcountry ski terrain in Hyalite Canyon is a 20-40 minute drive from downtown Bozeman, making it one of the most easily accessible backcountry ski locations to town, complete with peak ski objectives to tree skiing and meadows. MAG’s Level 1 Avalanche Course is for those looking to gain the skills and knowledge for safe backcountry travel. Our three-day course takes place in the backcountry of Hyalite Canyon and areas in Yellowstone NP south of Big Sky for all field sessions. This allows us the opportunity to look at two different snowpacks providing a much more comprehensive environmental classroom than visiting the same general locations each day. Class sessions will take place in Bozeman, MT.
NOTE: Exact locations for field sessions are subject to change.
- Avalanche types and anatomy
- Basic slab mechanics Terrain
Terrain evaluation and route selection • Travel protocols & group communication
- Snowpack and Weather
Mountain snowpack development leading to instability or stability • Field observations, tests and judging instability • Use of avalanche & snow pit tools: inclinometer, compass, probe, saw • Introduce elementary pit diagrams with hand hardness profiles, basic grain type symbols and stability tests. Expose to recording field notes. • Avalanche & snow climates
- Decision-support Tools
Human factors and the need for systematic decision tools • Application & limitations of decision tools • Avalanche bulletins
Companion rescue including scene size up, organization, beacon use, probing, shoveling • Recovery of victims not wearing beacons • Common mistakes in avalanche rescue • Single and multiple beacon search techniques • Role of first aid and emergency response in real avalanche rescues
Course Content follows guidelines established by American Avalanche Association
- Snow Sense, Jill Fredston & Doug Fesler
- Start with this book (130 pages)
- Staying Alive in Avalanche Terrain, Bruce Tremper
- This book has it all and goes beyond our Level 1 Course. It remains a staple text for snow safety.