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The Level I Avalanche course is oriented toward the person who enters the backcountry primarily for recreation. It focuses on the knowledge, skills, and the decisions one must be able to make while traveling safely in avalanche terrain.
This course teaches students how terrain, weather, and snowpack contribute to avalanche hazards. This knowledge is used during decision-making exercises in the classroom and in the field session. Students also become acquainted with human factors, which skew effective decision making. The course covers movement through avalanche terrain, route selection/hazard identification, and stability assessments in the field environment. Also focuses heavily on the fundamentals of self, group, and organized rescue. Students complete a written exam and practical evaluation during field exercises.
Prerequisite: Excellent physical condition, since the course requires strenuous physical exertion. Students are generally expected to perform in a variety of snow conditions (including deep snow), hike moderate distances, climb moderate to steep slopes, and traverse steep slopes.