Avalanche refresher course



Course Overview

This 2 day course will be based out of the Woody Creek Cabin in the Absaroka Range above Cooke City, MT. The cabin is a 2.5 mile skin from Cooke City, and is situated within 1/4 mile of the Wyoming border and the North Absaroka Wilderness. It’s located just below treeline – with access to glades and alpine terrain alike, making this a great venue to learn about terrain and the snowpack while being fully immersed in the mountains for the duration of the course. Completion of a Basic or Level 1 avalanche course is a prerequisite for all participants.

This course is for backcountry travelers with rusty or outdated avalanche skills and people preparing for a Level 2 Avalanche Course. During the 2 days, participants will be exposed to techniques and skills required to be a competent backcountry partner. Outcomes of the course include:

  • Updated skills and knowledge (review)
  • Assessment of skills preparatory to Level 2
  • Recommendations for further development

This will include a combination of lectures and field sessions, where students will get hands on experience in learning about snowpack layering, terrain management, weather elements, decision making, and rescue skills.

  • Cost:$395 (Includes lodging, food for weekend, course materials)
  • Location: Woody Creek Cabin (backcountry ski cabin), Cooke City, MT


Course Topics Overview

  • Recent changes in L1 content
  • Metamorphism and snow processes review
  • Basic pit diagram review & field book use
  • Trip plan: snowpack and weather conditions, route plan
  • Rescue scenarios
  • Use and application of student’s own avalanche and snow study tools
  • Route selection, stability assessment, recording field observations, travel protocols, ongoing use of decision making tools
  • Summary of stability findings or danger scale assessment
  • Critique: Recommendations for further skills development, preparation for Level 2 training.


  • There will be ample time on Sunday for Skiing Powder and working out the early season kinks in skills and gear. Sunday Afternoon will be spent going for a ski tour and brushing up on uphill and downhill travel techniques and protocols.

This course is based on guidelines established by the American Avalanche Association



There are currently no courses scheduled. Check back next year!