Jump to content

Recommendations for learning avy skills?


Recommended Posts

Does anyone have recommendations on how to develop avalanche and snow reading skills? I'm studying The Avalanche Handbook by David McClung/Peter Schaerer as well as Staying Alive in Avalanche Terrain by Bruce Tremper.


I stay out of avy terrain due to my lack of knowledge but want to be able to work towards some more challenging objectives and feel as though that's not possible until I understand the dangers that snow provide.


With each passing day I seem to pick up more knowledge but need some good practical training opportunities. I don't have the money to take the $375 3 day avy course and would prefer to gain the skills without taking that course. Primarily because I have done a ton of trainings/certifications and I often feel as though they barely scratch the surface of what you really need to know. That being said, if people feel as though the AIARE courses are really worth the money, I'm open to hearing that but would also like some other ideas for learning.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 3
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

That isn't the case with all MRA units. Skagit, for example, though I don't doubt that some units will spring for it. Going out skiing with more experienced folks is often a good way to learn, as is paying attention to the NWAC report, reading books like you cite, collecting data as you tour, and spending a lot of days working your way into the BC via more and more challenging terrain. You can play it conservative and still gets lots of great skiing in each season.


I really do think that the Level One course is pretty valuable these days, especially if you take it from someone like Kurt Hicks (who has a background in outdoor ed.). Even though I have been doing this awhile, I learned a great deal from an AAI course I took from him and Gregg Cronn last season.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

most of the sar units with which I've worked over the years (40+ years, both professional and volunteer units) have done their training in house, free to their personnel. what you get depends on who's doing the teaching. the National Ski Patrol system provides courses for their members. most clubs and college outdoor programs offer the basics, and the "gold standard" is AIARE. For what it's worth, I feel like you can approach the AIARE standard without taking the formal course IF you're willing to devote a number of years to cultivating partnerships with folks who know more than you. Over the course of those years, you'll likely spend at least what the AIARE course would cost you, just spread over a loooong time.

if you really don't want so spend the money, join your local sar unit or the National Ski Patrol.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...