In January and February 2023 the Medicine Bow Nordic Ski Patrol and Snowy Range Ski Patrol plan to offer two level-1 avalanche courses.

(In NSP's level-1 curriculum, Module 1 is the classroom portion; Module 2 consists of field sessions; Module 3 is an all-day field session devoted to rescue.) The enrollment cap for each of the 3 courses is 20 students. Here's the schedule:

Level 1: Modules 1 and 2,
hosted by University of Wyoming Outdoor Program:

6-10 pm Mon 23 Jan (in the classroom)
6-10 pm Fri 27 Jan (in the classroom)
8 am-4 pm Sat 28 Jan (in the field)
6-10 pm Fri 3 Feb (in the classroom)
9 am-3 pm Sat 4 Feb (in the field)

Level 1: Modules 1 and 2,
hosted by Medicine Bow Nordic Ski Patrol:

6-10 pm Mon 6 Feb (in the classroom)
6-10 pm Fri 10 Feb (in the classroom)
8 am-4 pm Sat 11 (in the field)
6-10 pm Fri 17 Feb (in the classroom)
8 am-4 pm Sat 18 Feb (in the field)

Module 3 (Organized Rescue):

8-4 pm Sun 19 Feb (in the field)

General information

The course hosted by the UW Outdoor Program will be open to UW students and employees and to local (MBNSP and SRSP) ski patrollers. This course will be available for registration through the UW Outdoor Program at the start of UW's spring semester, 8 am Tuesday 17 January. The course often fills on the first day. The course hosted by Medicine Bow Nordic Ski Patrol will be open to the public. You can enroll by contacting Myron Allen .

The courses starting 23 January and 6 February (a) are identical in content, (b) exceed content standards set by the American Avalanche Association for level-1 avalanche courses, and (c) cost $75, subject to change, excluding textbook cost and whatever fee the UW Outdoor Program charges. All students must arrange their own transportation to classroom sessions (in Laramie) and field sessions (Snowy Range backcountry and possibly Cameron Pass, CO). Instructors may change the field-session locations depending on weather forecasts.

Topics include:

  Avalanche Classification and Nomenclature
  The Avalanche Triangle: Snowpack, Terrain, Weather
  Instability and Release
  Human Factors
  Personal Safety
  Avalanche Rescue.

To participate in any of these courses, you must register through the National Ski Patrol, a process that is currently available to nonmembers at no additional charge. Instructors will provide information on how to do this.

For both the National Ski Patrol and the UW Outdoor Program, safety is by far the highest priority. The lead instructors have spent many years building avalanche expertise, through formal training, extensive backcountry navigation in avalanche country, and carefully mentored teaching. Nevertheless, both NSP and UWOP require that participants sign liability waivers.

The textbook is Staying Alive in Avalanche Terrain, 3rd edition, by Bruce Tremper. Module 3, an optional 1-day course with Modules 1 and 2 as prerequisites, focuses entirely on rescue techniques, building on material covered in Modules 1 and 2. We'll discuss details of Module 3 during the level-1 courses.

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Page last updated Nov. 4, 2022 17:35