IPAC Avalanche Courses

IPAC Avalanche Courses 2019    

Idaho Panhandle Avalanche Center Level 1 & 2 Avalanche Course Information

2019 Classes-
AAA Level 1: January 11-13, January 25-27(FULL),  February 7-10(FULL)
AAA Level 2: February 28 - March 3

How to enroll- Sign up via PayPal checkout (Debit/Credit also accepted):

IPAC Avalanche Courses


Level 1 classes:

  • January 11-13 Ski / Splitboard, Classroom: USFS Ranger Station Troy, MT Field session: Kootenai National Forest (cancelled)
  • January 25-27  Ski / Splitboard, Classroom: USFS Ranger Station Sandpoint, ID  Field session: backcountry near Schweitzer Ski Resort  (FULL)
  • February 7-10  Ski / Splitboard, Classroom: REI Spokane, WA  Field session: backcountry near Lookout Pass Ski Area (FULL)

Level 2 classes:

  • February 28 - March 3 Ski / Splitboard, Classroom: USFS Ranger Station Sandpoint, ID Field session: Cabinet Mtns in Idaho Panhandle National Forest

For questions call the Sandpoint Ranger District (208)263-5111. 

Cost- Level 1: $350.00, Level 2: $450.00

Instructors- Kevin Davis, Jeff Thompson, Eric Morgan and Melissa Hendrickson

Class ratio- The required ratio of instructor to students is seven students to 1 instructor. We can accommodate up to 21 students.

Class duration-  Level 1 courses are 24 hours- 8 hours of classroom (2-4 hour evening classes) and 16 hours of field (2- 8 hr field days). Level 2 courses are 16 hours of classroom and 16 hours of field.

Curriculum overview- American Avalanche Association- Avalanche Fundamentals, Level 1. In this class we teach you, how to recognize avalanches, how to avoid them, the factors that result in each type, and how to become your own avalanche forecaster. We will also discuss avalanche dynamics and how to use the avalanche triangle (Snow, Weather, Terrain) to assess the stability of the snowpack. There are several tools that help with the avalanche assessment process and we will discuss their pros and cons. Finally we will spend a good portion of time avalanche rescue. We will talk about what to do if you get caught in an avalanche as well as practice organizing and executing an effective rescue.

Focused topics-

  • Avalanche types and Anatomy
  • Basic slab mechanics
  • Terrain
  • Snowpack and Weather
  • Decision and Support tools
  • Rescue

Required equipment-

  • Skis with telemark, randonee, alpine touring bindings or a Splitboard
  • Avalanche beacon, shovel and probe
  • Appropriate size daypack
  • Lunch and snacks for the day
  • Extra gloves and insulated layer
  • Enough water for the day
  • Sun protection (sunscreen, sunglasses)
  • Waterproof jacket and pants
  • Knit hat, goggles, gloves, wind block (neck gator, balaclava or buff)

Recommended reading- Snow Sense, Staying Alive in Avalanche Terrain, The Avalanche Handbook

Classes offered: 
Level 1
Level 2
St. Regis Valley
AAA - American Avalanche Association