Avalanche Level 1

Avalanche Level 1 provides students with a solid foundation of skills which enables them to travel more safely and make informed decisions in the backcountry. SIET Avalanche programs are unique in that the class size is small, which allows the instructors to customize the course to specific student goals and provide more one-on-one coaching. 

This course will cover curriculum that meets and exceeds the guidelines of the American Avalanche Association. The program is 24 hours long with 60% of course time spent in the field and 40% in the classroom, as per AAA guidelines.

All SIET avalanche courses are led by AMGA/IFMGA Certified Mountain Guides who have extensive backcountry experience, have taught dozens of avalanche courses, and are well versed in the most current industry best practices. All SIET Avalanche Courses are endorsed by the American Avalanche Association.


Apply for the Level 1 Course Here



Course Topics and Learning Outcomes:

  • Access the local avalanche bulletin and learn to understand & apply the information.
  • Describe where and why avalanches occur.
  • Understand key components of avalanche formation.
  • Human Factors: Identify & apply simple decision tools to prepare for traveling in avalanche terrain.
  • Apply risk management tools: safety equipment, trailhead checks, and communication.
  • Learn procedures for Basic Companion Rescue.
  • Make key observations for snowpack and weather.
  • Practice snowpack tests appropriate for the current avalanche problems.
  • Identify avalanche terrain in the field.
  • Choose terrain appropriate for the current avalanche forecast and avoid avalanche problems.


  • Location: Wasatch Range, Salt Lake City, UT
  • Course Fee: $550 (min 4 students)
  • Transportation and parking fees not included 

Dates: 2023/24

Each course has a 3 hour lecture on Thursday and Friday night followed by 8 hours in the field Saturday and 6 hours in the field Sunday with an evening lecture. Note: all courses filled early last season, book ahead to ensure your spot! 



  • Dec 7-10 Time: Dec 7 & 8 6pm-9pm (zoom); Dec 9, 7:30am – 4pm; Dec 10, 7:30am-6:00pm (FULL)
  • Dec 14-17  Time: Dec 14 &15, 6pm-9pm (zoom); Dec 16, 7:30am – 4pm; Dec 17, 7:30am-6:00pm (FULL)
  • Jan 4-7 Time: Jan 4 & 5- 6pm-9pm (zoom); Jan 6, 7:30am – 4pm;  Jan 7- 7:30am-6:00pm (4 spots left)
  • Jan 18-21 Time: Jan 18 & 19- 6pm-9pm (zoom); Jan 20, 7:30am – 4pm;  Jan 21- 7:30am-6:00pm (FULL)
  • Feb 8-11 Time: Feb 8 & 9- 6pm-9pm (zoom); Feb 10, 7:30am – 4pm;  Feb 11- 7:30am-6:00pm (6 spots left)
  • More dates coming soon!


  • Other dates and private courses available upon request
  • Rentals available, please make your request 10 days before the course start date
  • Transportation not provided; all wheel drive and/or chains sometimes required by law in the Wasatch. 

Prerequisites: Students must be able to comfortably ski/board a ‘blue square’ run in western resorts in any condition, including powder. You must also be fit enough to climb 2,000 feet of vertical terrain and still have the energy to ski/board back down. Snow shoes, nordic gear (cross country), and snow machines are not an option for SIET courses (contact us if you need to find a course provider that specializes in those modes of travel, we’d be happy to help!).

Required Gear List and Itinerary:

SIET Avalanche Level 1 Gear List and Itinerary


Apply for the Level 1 Course Here



Mount Superior, the core of the Wasatch Range. Home to world-class backcountry skiing..and powerful avalanches!


Scholarships Available: 

American Alpine Club’s Partner in Adventure Grant- for Outdoor Education: “Our goal is to help you and your partner stay safe as you broaden your climbing skill set.” -AAC. This fits perfectly with SIET’s objectives, definitely apply to this one! Grants up to $1,000. Applications are open from September 22—October 29. For courses in the US only. 

Cancelation Policy:

If you need to cancel 60 days prior to the course, you will be given a full refund. Cancelations that occur after 60 days will not receive a refund. The course may also be cancelled due to bad weather, sickness, low enrollment, or other logistical challenges and trip insurance is advised.