Online Climbers Avalanche Course

[Detailed Description] [Register for the course! ]

You can keep up with news about the Avalanche Center and Avalanche Institute, including this course, by joining our email listOpens in New Window. (We also post on Facebook but you will only see that if Facebook decides to show it to you. As an unfunded non-profit we rarely pay them to do that so our distribution there is limited.)

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About the Online Avalanche Course for Climbers

This course is shorter than our full Level 1 course and is tailored specifically for spring mountaineering. Much of it is also applicable to spring ski tours and ski mountaineering. For a full comparison see this page.

Every year there are serious mountaineering avalanche accidents in spring, mostly late May and June. In the Pacific Northwest there is actually a secondary maximum in fatalities at this time due to the popularity of climbing during this season.

In this course we focus on spring conditions and planning. We do not explicitly discuss avalanche terrain since the assumption is that climbers will be planning a trip which is clearly in such terrain. Spring incidents mostly or entirely occur on obvious avalanche slopes. We also do not feel that field work is necessary for this course. The terrain (route) choice is generally made at home, alpine starts in the dark are common, and snowpits and stability tests are rarely useful. In fact they take up time which is precious on many routes.

Since climbers choose their route in advance, spend extended time periods ascending steep slopes, and typically have few of any escape routes or alternatives good planning is of the essence. Weather and snow conditions need to be understood and anticipated, the team and the route need to be compatible, and timing needs to be considered. This course focuses on these things.

Climbers Avalanche Course Description

The description page (with its module sub-pages) describes the course in unprecedented detail. There are 7 online modules. (This includes 2 which also constitute the Safe Travel and Self RescueOpens in New Window short course.)

Each module has its own description page in full detail, and the objectives for each module are easily viewed in pop-up boxes. The module pages cover the content of each individual module completely - how many other courses can do that and promise it will all be covered without compromise or trade-offs? You can also find the objectives for each module by clicking on the box in the flow chart.

If you still have questions you can use our contact formOpens in New Window.

Feedback from Past Students

This page has a bit of feedback about our courses from our students. The description page for each module has feedback specific to that module as well.

Register for the Spring Mountaineering and Climbing Avalanche Course

On this page you can register to begin as soon as you wish. Be sure to log in as an avalanche center memberOpens in New Window for a large discount. We also offer special rates to groups, either yours or one we form. Use our contact form to be put contacted when this is available, and follow us on Facebook.