IPAC Avalanche Courses

Idaho Panhandle Avalanche Center's 2020/21 Avalanche Courses

Classes will be adapted for COVID-19 with caps on enrollment and group sizes in the field. Classroom portion may be virtual.

Avalanche Level 1 Refresher: ($110)

January 9th, 8AM-3PM at Schweitzer Fire Station, Sandpoint ID SOLD OUT!! GET ON THE WAITLIST

Avalanche Safety Level 1: ($375)

January 15-17 at Lookout Pass ID/MT  SOLD OUT!!  GET ON THE WAITLIST

January 22-24 at Schweitzer Mountain Resort SOLD OUT!!  GET ON THE WAITLIST

February 5-7 at Silver Mountain Resort SOLD OUT!!  GET ON THE WAITLIST

February 19-21 at Schweitzer Mountain Resort  SOLD OUT!! GET ON THE WAITLIST

Avalanche Safety Level 1 Motorized: ($375)

January 14, 16, & 17 in Coolin/Priest Lake, ID vicinity for field portion Registration Closed!! CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

January 21, 23, & 24 in Wallace, ID vicinity for field portion SOLD OUT!! CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

Avalanche Rescue Fundamentals: ($110)

February 12th, 8AM-3PM at Pine Street Woods, Dover ID CLICK HERE TO REGISTER



  • If you are unable to attend a course that you have registered and paid for, and you notify us that you are unable to attend at least 1 week before the date of the course, you will receive a 100% refund. If you notify us less than 1 week before the course, you will receive a 50% refund. 


Level 1 Course 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. Students will receive a certificate of completion at the end of the class.

Students must have familiarity with backcountry touring skis or a splitboard. Students must be a high-intermediate or expert level skier or snowboarder. Uphill travel capabilities will be necessary. Snowshoes are not allowed for uphill travel during the class.

Level 1 course objectives:

  1. Describe the nature of avalanches and their danger
  2. Recognize avalanche terrain
  3. Understand basic snow metamorphism
  4. Conduct snow stability tests and snowpits
  5. Learn how to identify and avoid avalanche terrain
  6. Learn effective techniques for avalanche rescue

Level 1 course focused topics:

  • Avalanche phenomena
  • Route selection
  • Travel considerations and group communication
  • Mountain geographic features and weather
  • Snow physics
  • Different types of snowpacks
  • Field observations, tests and judging instability
  • Use of avalanche and weather tools
  • Human factors and the use for systematic decision tools
  • How to use information from the avalanche forecast
  • Rescue strategies and techniques

Required equipment for all courses:

  1. Avalanche transceiver, shovel and prob
  2. Daypack 20-45 liters
  3. Lunch and snacks for the day
  4. Extra gloves / Insulated layer
  5. Enough water for the day (at least 1 liter)
  6. Sun protection (sunglasses/ sunscreen)
  7. Waterproof jacket and pants
  8. Knit hat, goggles, gloves, wind block for face (gator or buff or balaclava)
  9. Insulating layers and emergency layer

* Optional- compass, Inclinometer, snowsaw, pit kit, warm drink, etc…

Recommended reading for all courses:

‘Staying Alive in Avalanche Terrain’ Bruce Tremper

‘The Avalanche Handbook’ Peter Schaerer & David McClung



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