Other Avy Course Options

The Northeast offers numerous options for avalanche courses.

One resource is the list of all providers teaching courses on Mt. Washington.

At the opposite geographical extreme, the National Ski Patrol ("NSP") offers many courses in many different parts of the Northeast. Most of the one-day Module 1 classroom "Avalanche Foundations" courses are held in the Mid-Atlantic states, far from real avalanche terrain . . . but close to where most people really live.  Module 1 can then be combined with a weekend Module 2, held at Smugglers' Notch (usually 1st weekend in Feb), Mt Washington (usually 2nd weekend in March), and Whiteface (usually 3rd weekend in March, but only in even-numbered years).

The Northeast also has many course providers whose instructors have met the standards for the American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education ("AIARE"):
You can also directly contact individual AIARE qualified instructors at this link.

Differences between a three-day Level 1 course from NSP vs AIARE? In general, all Level 1 courses from both organizations strive to meet the American Avalanche Association ("AAA") guidelines. More specifically, both of the instructors for the course at this website have taken our formal avalanche training from a mix of NSP and AIARE providers, and have also gone through the instructor training for both NSP and AIARE. Based on this extensive basis for comparison, our definitive conclusion is that . . . it depends. That is, the differences within the courses of each organization are probably larger than the differences across the two organizations.

Note also that the AAA "strongly recommends" an awareness-level course before taking a Level 1 course. That reflects in part what we are trying to accomplish with this course: ensure that students arrive at the first day of the course with some avalanche awareness, instead of being totally new to the topic.

The approach taken to this issue by the prominent mountain guide Marc Chauvin has been to offer a mix throughout the year of the standard three-day L1 format and a two-day awareness-level course with a curriculum of his own design, drawing on his extensive educational background that includes being one of the key founders of AIARE, serving as an instructor/examiner for (and even President of) the American Mountain Guide Association ("AMGA"), and completing the Canadian Avalanche Association ("CAA") Professional Level 1 and 2 courses.
(Avalanche education in Canada follows separate recreational and professional tracks: the CAA Pro Level 1 course is almost equivalent to a U.S. Level 3 course, and the Pro Level 2 course is far beyond any formal training offered in the U.S. outside of primarily science-based university coursework.  AAA is now working to implement such a split.)

Other certified mountain guides in the Northeast also offer awareness-level avalanche training:
The full list of AMGA ski mountaineering guides is here.

Finally, if you don't see a published course date that fits your schedule, just contact a course provider or individual instructor for availability, then see if you can round up some other interested people (even just two more) to form a cost-effective course.
Furthermore, with a privately scheduled course, you can ensure that everyone is on ski touring gear, and thereby ensure that your field sessions are not compromised by having to wait up for slowshoers.
And you could even volunteer to complete some of the homework assignments at this website, thereby increasing the field:classroom ratio of the in-person time with your instructor.

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