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Intro to Avalanches with UAC

Skiing and snowboarding in the backcountry are much safer and much more fun when you have an understanding of avalanches. Knowing when you can go big and knowing when you need to dial it back. Nobody wants to be that partner that can't make informed decisions or be counted on in a rescue. Spend an evening in a classroom and a day on the snow with the pros to learn how to get out in the backcountry, have fun and come home ready to do it again.

This class meets the guidelines for Introduction to Avalanches and Introduction to Avalanches by the American Avalanche Association.  

What: This workshop begins with a three-hour evening class followed by an on-the-snow field day. The course will be led by Utah Avalanche Center Forecaster and assisted by members of the Utah Avalanche Center and Snowbasin Ski Patrol.

For more information and to register, please visit: Introduction to Avalanches

Plan to learn the following-

·       Understanding types of avalanches and how they happen

·       How weather affects avalanche risk

·       How to identify and avoid avalanche terrain

·       Using the local avalanche forecast to understand current conditions

·       Identifying dangerous avalanche conditions in the field

·       Safe travel protocol

·       Understanding how we make decisions in the backcountry

·       Companion rescue techniques

·       Snowpack stability tests  

Friday, February 1st at Amer Sports + Saturday, February 2nd at Snowbasin Resort


On Friday night,  Utah Avalanche Forecaster will use videos, slides, stories and class exercises to explain avalanche characteristics, snowpack fundamentals, clues to instability, terrain assessment, safe travel techniques, rescue, techniques and decision-making.

Class will include a copy of Bruce Tremper's Avalanche Pocket Guide


On Saturday, we will divide into groups of about 6 and make travel plans based on current conditions.  We will be using Snowbasin lifts to access boundary points. We will start to assess the snowpack, practice safe route-finding and decision-making, and perform a rescue. You will not need skins or other uphill travel modes.

Requirements & Logistics

Skills: You need to be an advanced level skier or snowboarder, capable of descending steep slopes in ungroomed, challenging conditions. 

Gear: You will need all of your ski and snowboard gear, plus a transceiver, probe, and shovel, as well as a pack to carry your equipment in.

This is not learn to ski and snowboard class.  If you are unsure of your abilities, please contact us. If you have never skied or rode a snowboard in the backcountry and want an introduction to the sport, we suggest you contact Utah Mountain Adventures.

You will also need to carry everything you need for a day trip in the backcountry, including:

Warm clothes (we will be out in the backcountry all day in winter conditions)
Digital avalanche transceiver (we have some loaners)
Shovel (we have some loaners)
Probe (we have some loaners)
First aid and repair kit

Friday: 6:00pm to 9:00pm at Amer Sports 2030 Lincoln Ave, Ogden, UT 84401

Saturday: 8:30am to 4:00 pm at Snowbasin Resort. We suggest arranging to carpool on Friday night. 

Recommended reading: We recommend that you read Staying Alive in Avalanche Terrain (Tremper) and Snow Sense (Fredston) prior to class.

For more information and to register, please visit: Intro to Avalanche Class

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