IPAC Avalanche Level 1 courses

     Idaho Panhandle Level 1 course information

2018 classes- January 17-20 (FULL), January 22-24 (Border Patrol), January 31- February 3, February 21-24


How to enroll- Go to idahopanhandleavalanche.org and go to the ‘Paypal’ tab.Dates-AAA Level 1 course  


  • CLASS IS FULL    January 17-20  Ski / Split board, Classroom: USFS Ranger Station Sandpoint, ID  Field session: backcountry near Schweitzer Ski Resort 
  • January 31-February 3  Ski / Split board Classroom: REI Spokane, WA  Field session:  Lookout Pass ID /MT boarder  
  • February 21-24  Snowmobile / Snow bike Classroom- USFS Ranger Station Sandpoint, ID  Field session- Trestle Creek, Cabinet Mountains 
  • January 22-24 Border Patrol specific Level 1 AAA

For questions call the  Sandpoint Ranger District  208.263.5111. 

Cost- $350.00

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)

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- Ski / Snowboard course: Skis with telemark, randonee, alpine touring bindings or a Splitboard.  Students must also have a becon, shovel, probe, suitable backpack and packed for a day in the winter backcountry.

Required reading- Snow Sense, Staying alive in avalanche terrain, The Avalanche Handbook

Classes offered: 
Level 1
AAA - American Avalanche Association