avalanche rescue course

Avalanche Rescue Course

silverton avalanche school


Click on the date you’d like to register for and you will be re-directed to the Silverton Avalanche School website to complete the process.

  • November 25, 2017 Ouray, Colorado

  • December 3, 2017 Silverton, Colorado

  • December 9, 2017 Telluride, Colorado




Join Chicks and the Silverton Avalanche School for this 1-day course to set you up for success as a competent member of any backcountry party for winter outings.  Designed for newcomers to the backcountry and seasoned veterans alike, the skills covered in this intensive clinic will give you more confidence to use your avalanche rescue equipment and a framework for sound decision-making in the event of an avalanche incident.  We’ll provide you with resources to access backcountry conditions and weather forecasts, how to make a basic emergency plan and discuss how to manage groups in avalanche terrain.

The key topics covered, combined with ample hands-on practice will help you perform critical rescue skills in the event of an avalanche burial. Our systematic approach to professional instruction and coaching will help you get to know your avalanche transceiver inside and out, use your probe and shovel effectively as well as get the skinny on the airbag and Avalung use.

Our outdoor classroom won’t require skis or any specialized equipment, only warm clothing, winter footwear, and ample calories.

This course meets guidelines set by the American Avalanche Association and also meets guidelines set by the International Commission for Alpine Rescue (ICAR). When completed, this course will provide you with the prerequisite Avalanche Rescue certification to continue on with the Pro Level 1 if that is your goal.  We recommend all backcountry users refresh with the ARC every two years.

At the end of the day, we’ll enjoy high fives and knuckle bumps for a Happy Hour celebration and screening of the 15 minute Know Before You Go video as icing on the cake for your newly honed and practiced skills.


  • Recognizing and preparing to enter avalanche terrain
  • Personal protective equipment for the winter environment
  • Overview of personal avalanche rescue equipment and proper use
  • Self-evacuation equipment and proper use
  • Functionality checks of your personal avalanche rescue equipment
  • How to perform group checks of transceivers at the start of each day
  • Basics of an Emergency Plan and group management
  • Travel protocols for avalanche terrain
  • How to use the functions on your avalanche transceiver quickly and decisively
  • Response and actions if involved in an avalanche (victim or rescuer); assessing the scene and taking leadership
  • Fundamentals of organizing and executing an effective search in avalanche debris using the signal, course, fine and pinpoint search technique
  • Scenarios; how to set up effective scenarios for practice
  • Techniques for effective probing and shoveling  
  • Discussion of first aid skills likely to be used in actual rescues
  • Requesting outside assistance and what to expect

At the end of the Avalanche Rescue course our students should be able to:

  • Describe what to do if they or a member of their party is caught in an avalanche
  • Identify and be able to use gear necessary for avalanche rescue
  • Set up a realistic scenario in order to practice an avalanche rescue response
  • Improve their response skills and times during and after the course with feedback from instructors and peers
  • Develop a plan for continued practice


  • 8-hours of instruction with both a Chicks IFMGA/AMGA Guide and a Silverton Avalanche School Professional Instructor
  • Avalanche Rescue Certification upon completion
  • Know Before You Go video
  • Chicks Welcome Bag


  • Transportation
  • Personal or Trip Insurance
  • Lodging

*Demos from our Sponsors are available including outerwear, warm layers, and gloves.  Please contact us if you would like to check out some of the latest and greatest.


What to Bring

Travel Logistics



8:00- Welcome and intros, Chicks Welcome Bags, goals and objectives

8:30 – 5:00 All-day In the Field Training – Venue specifics provided upon Registration


A $35.00 fee is charged for course date transfers. 60% of the course cost can be refunded up to 30 days prior to the course start.  No refunds are provided for cancellations made less than 30 days prior to the start of the course for which you are registered. Unfortunately, we cannot give refunds, rain checks or cancellations if passes into Silverton are closed.