National Ski Patrol

LEVEL 1 AVALANCHE for Rescue Personnel

with emphases on pre-course preparation, backcountry travel, and rescue

These courses are designed for the motivated student willing to commit to significant pre-course study and preparation. The goal is to utilize the inherently limited in-person time only for those learning opportunities that are not available through published educational resources. The full Level 1 course also requires backcountry ski equipment along with an accompanying fitness level and skiing skills to complete the highly demanding tours as featured in prior years of the course.

Please read all the pages on the course website carefully before registering for the course. If the website seems too complicated or otherwise difficult to follow, then you should take an avalanche course from a different provider.

You can read about the course in this article (on p. 25) published by the American Avalanche Association's The Avalanche Review.  (The course was also the subject of a presentation at the November 2011 first annual Eastern Snow and Avalanche Workshop.)

The full Level 1 course however is NOT a substitute for a Level 2 course. Instead, the goal of the full Level 1 course is to cover the typical Level 1 curriculum in a more thorough manner, both in the classroom and out in the field. By contrast, any Level 2 course would require students to conduct their own snowpit analyses and stability tests, whereas at the Level 1 course this will merely be demonstrated to you by your instructors. More specifically, a Level 2 course from NSP (conducted at Whiteface in March of odd-numbered years) concludes with a very realistic group-rescue exercise, and a Level 2 course from an AIARE provider (multiple providers in Northeast) emphasizes more in-depth snow science. Both of these are far beyond the scope of what we will learn here.

For additional training that complements an avalanche course, here is an example of an introductory-level NSP Mountain Travel and Rescue course.  And here is an example of an integrated Level 2 course for Avalanche and Mountain Travel/Rescue.