Avalanche Fundamentals & Rescue - 02/07/2009


The potential for snow avalanches exists wherever snow lies upon steep slopes. Avalanche safety is not only a winter issue, and it's not only an issue in " big mountain" areas. Avalanche problems are widespread in geography and degree of hazard. To meet the varying challenges represented by this avalanche danger, the NSP has established several avalanche training courses. The NSP's avalanche courses fulfill all of the requirements of the Level I and Level II curricula adopted by the American Avalanche Association with one exception; the NSP courses include topics related to organized rescue. Please note that actual avalanche control work and rescue operations are under the direction and control of ski area management or other authorized agencies.


This course is a substitute for Level I Avalanche and is to be taught when available terrain and snowpack prevent completion of all Level I curriculum requirements. Students learn how terrain, weather, and snowpack contribute to avalanche hazards. This knowledge is used during decision-making exercises in the classroom and in the field session. Students also become acquainted with human factors, which skew effective decision-making. The course focuses heavily on the fundamentals of self, group, and organized rescue. Field sessions are limited to those activities fully achievable in the local environment and normally do not include route selection, backcountry travel, and snow stability evaluation. Students complete a written exam and practical evaluation during field exercises. Upon completion, students are qualified to participate in organized rescue operations.

Prerequisite: None

Time commitment: 8 hours of classroom and 4 to 6 hours of field work

Fee: National—none; Division—varies; Local—$35.00

Instructor of record: NSP Avalanche instructor

Credential: NSP Certificate of Achievement

Continuing education requirements: None

Suggested Texts:

  • Avalanche Rescue Quick Guide (#511)
  • Snow Sense (#513)

Recommended visual aids reference: Avalanche Rescue: Not a Second to Waste video (available through NSP lending library)


Course Fee: $35.00

Name Sales End Price Fee
Avalanche Fundamentals & Rescue   Ended $35 $0.99

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