Avalanche Level 1
Immersive 3-day all-inclusive Avalanche Level 1 Course in Paradise Valley B Bar Ranch, Montana
Dates: February 10-12, 2024
Registration Deadline January 27, 2024
Stay with us at B Bar Ranch during this 3 day Avalanche Course that includes meals, lodging and direct access to the pristine mountains of Paradise Valley and exploring the Absaroka and Gallatin Mountains.
Our minimum group size is 6 and max. 12 participants.
Difficulty & Fitness
This course focuses on learning and practicing important skills to determine avalanche conditions. We won't do more than 1500 ft of elevation gain. Skiers and riders should be able to ride in uneven and ungroomed "blue" terrain.
The mountains are not as predictible as other topographical features and we might encouter bad weather in form of snow storms and below 0 temps. However, we are planning on sunshine and clear skies ;-).
B Bar Ranch is about 1 1/2 hrs from Bozeman and 45 min from Gardiner! The Ranch access road is plowed but can be variable in the winter, 4-wheel drive is recommended.
Lodging & Ammenities
We will stay at B Bar Ranch's cozy wood cabins that are tucked in the foothills of the Gallatin and Absaroka Mountains. A private chef will provide meals to fuel our days in the mountains together. All that you need to do is strap on your skis or splitboard, and start skinning! No need to drive to a trailhead, we have the luxury of being surrounded by mountains located on private property. A wall tent is available nearby to warm up and have lunch near where we will be studying in the field. To relieve sore muscles, a hot tub is available to soak in after a long day in the snow.
Located in breathtaking Paradise Valley at Tom Miner Basin, the B Bar offers phenomenal private backcountry skiing access. The Ranch borders Yellowstone and is surrounded by 10,000-foot peaks of the Gallatin and Absaroka Mountains. There are 9,000 private acres and access to the additional 11,000 forest service acres that reach up to peaks like Ramshorn Mountain. This is a unique opportunity to ski untracked powder in an undisturbed Montana ecosystem.
Breakfast, lunch, and dinner included
Comfortable lodge and hangout spaces.
Roomy accommodations are on-site, no need to drive!
Hot coffee and drinks are available throughout the day.
Hot tub a short stroll from your room and underneath breathtaking stars.
An authentic lodge that is great for classroom learning.
Heated yurt for optional yoga class.
The ability for guests to arrive early or stay late staying in a vacation rental.
Over 20 kilometers of groomed cross-country ski trails.
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. 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.
Itenary - approximate, the itenary might change
9 am Meet at B Bar Ranch
9 am - 1 pm Classroom learning
1 pm - 5 pm Field session, rescue practice
6 pm Dinner
7 am Breakfast
8 am - 5 pm Field session, touring and snow pit analysis
6 pm Dinner
7 am Breakfast
8 - 12 pm Field session
12pm - 4 pm Student let tours - applying skills