Want to become confident and self-sufficient in your backcountry adventures? Take a Level 1 Avalanche Course with us.
Our 3-day courses are designed to give current and aspiring skiers, splitboarders, and mountaineers the tools they need to access the backcountry safely. They are formatted with the guidelines set forth by the American Avalanche Association.
Expect in-depth instruction in backcountry travel, terrain management, snowpack assessment, rescue practices, and decision making with field time on all 3 days. Each course is run by two instructors, allowing for a low student to instructor ratio and unique perspectives.
Avalanche bulletins, ski & rescue equipment, and the recipe for an avalanche.
Obvious avalanche terrain, human factors and their role in decision making, and safe travel routes.
Risk management tools, in-field decision making, and rescue procedures.
Snowpack tests, observations, and route finding.
Why take an Avalanche Level 1?
If you want to explore the mountains during winter, awareness and understanding of avalanches is essential to safe passage. Level 1 Avalanche Courses give you the technical skills to identify hazards and employ techniques to improve your decision making. They include everyday practices that help you mitigate risk and avoid the worst-case scenario. With these tools, you might even save someone's life one day.
Beyond the safety aspect of these courses, there are plenty of other reasons to join. Avalanche courses are a great way to meet other like-minded backcountry users; many times our students walk away with new (and educated) partners. Similarly, these course help you dive into the inner working of these backcountry partnerships. Hopefully, you'll come out of this course with an rough understanding of the mechanics behind group decision making and its implications.
Our courses are also a great opportunity to get to know a new area. Red Lodge and Cooke City are off the radar, and no guidebook exists for the backcountry terrain nearby. Although there is class time, we make the majority of our courses in the field and, because of that, you can expect to learn more about the terrain in real time.
Regardless, the Level 1 is an important step in your backcountry learning. Whether you've been doing this for years or your just starting, we hope you come out of this ready to practice and apply the skills you've learned.
Why choose Beartooth Mountain Guides?
Beartooth Mountain Guides has been providing courses for 20 years. Our Level 1 is taught by variety of experienced locals, mountain guides, and avalanche professionals.
Reasons to choose BMG:
3-day courses with field-time every day; we believe in learning by doing
Direct instruction in town; no pre-recorded lessons and plenty of time for Q&A
Low group ratios; typically 4:1 ratio, meaning more time with your instructor
Minimal drive time; all BMG courses have little (< 15 min) to no daily drive time, unlike many courses with 1+hr daily drives
Affordable price; we aim to keep our courses accessible
Epic terrain; Between Cooke City's undoubtedly perfect location and Red Lodge's lift access
Cooke City or
Although both in the Beartooths, Cooke City and Red Lodge are two different venues for your avalanche course. Take a moment to consider which is best for you.
Regularly deep and consistent snowpack (good skiing!)
Destination ski town, perfect way to preview terrain
In-town yurt classroom
Minimal to no drive time; Skiing/riding from the classroom
Scenic drive through Yellowstone in the winter
Fewer accommodation options (book early!)
3+ hours to Bozeman and Billings
Early to mid season course offerings
Easy access; only 1 hr from Billings & Cody
In-town class, walking distance to coffee/bakery
15 minute drive time to field-sessions
Lift accessed day, tickets included
Variety of accommodation options
Variable snowpack; usually reactive to our tests & great for learning
Mid season (February 18-20)