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Avalanche Education
 

Private Instruction - Avalanche Education

Private Instruction - Avalanche Education

Digging Snowpits, Level 1 Avalanche Refresher
Avalanche pouring off Hellgate Cliffs, Alta, Utah
Photo by Tyson Bradley

Guides are happy to teach avalanche hazard evaluation skills during a full or half day private tour. Dig snowpits, perform stability tests, practice beacon search and rescue scenarios, travel up and downhill while employing avalanche-hazard mitigation procedures, and learn safe route-finding skills.

Many participants do avalanche-oriented ski tours, enabling them to learn and apply skills under the tutelage of a professional. Ski touring partners often spend a day in the early season with a guide to make sure they are all on the same page, and build trust in one another.

Rates:

          Full Day:
               
$299 for one person plus $125 for each additional person plus tax

          Half Day:
               $179 for one person plus $75 for each additional person plus tax

          Long and more difficult days:
               $350 for one person plus $150 for each additional person plus tax

Rate Chart:

Private Guide
Full Day (6-10 hours)
Number of Clients
Total Amount
Amount per Person
Base Price
Additional Person
1
$299.00
$299.00
$299.00
$125.00
2
$424.00
$212.50
3
$549.00
$183.00
4
$674.00
$165.50
All fees are subject to tax.

Private Guide
Half Day (3-5 hours); 60% of Full Rate
Number of Clients
Total Amount
Amount per Person
Base Price
Additional Person
1
$179.00
$179.40
$179.00
$ 75.00
2
$254.00
$127.20
3
$329.00
$109.80
4
$404.00
$101.10
All fees are subject to tax.

Private Guide
Difficult Climbs or Long Day (10 or more hours)
Number of Clients
Total Amount
Amount per Person
Base Price
Additional Person
1
$350.00
$350.00
$350.00
$150.00
2
$500.00
$250.00
3
$650.00
$216.67
All fees are subject to tax.

Gear & Equipment - Avalanche Education Courses

Gear, Equipment Rentals, Books & Maps

Avalanche with adjacent skier in Silver Fork
Avalanche with adjacent skier in Silver Fork
Photo by Bruce Tremper

Equipment List:

  • Non-cotton top and bottom under layers (capilene or polypro)
  • Fleece insulation layer
  • Waterproof/windproof top and bottom outer shell
  • Wool (and liner) socks
  • 2 pairs of waterproof snow gloves or mittens
  • Fleece or liner glove for skinning
  • Warm hat and baseball cap
  • Sunglasses and goggles
  • Sunscreen
  • 1 or 2 liters of water
  • Lunch and snacks (dinner for level I & II on Saturday night)
  • Thermos of hot tea, soup or such (recommended, not required)
  • Ski, snowboard, mountaineering or snow boots
  • Alpine touring, telemark skis, alpine skis with binding inserts, splitboard, snowboard, and/or snowshoes
  • Poles
  • Skins if using skis or split-snowboard
  • Beacon *
  • Shovel *
  • Daybackpack

Download Gear List ( PDF)

*  UMA will provide you with a beacon and a shovel if you need them. UMA rents alpine touring skis, split snowboards, skins and snowshoes. Other equipment is available for rent at local ski shops.

Utah Mountain Adventures Rentals:

  Alpine touring skis and skins:
Split-snowboard, skins and poles:
Skins only:
Snowshoes and poles:
$40 plus tax
$45 plus tax
$10 plus tax
$15 plus tax


UMA guides can deliver and adjust this gear for you.

Rental Shops:

     Alta Sports
     in Alta
     (801) 742-3110

     Alta Peruvian Lodge Rental Shop
     in Alta
     (801) 742-3333

     Black Diamond Retail
     2070 E. 3900 South, Salt Lake City
     (801) 278-0233

     REI
     3285 East 3300 South, Salt Lake City
     (801) 486-2100

     Wasatch Touring
     702 E 100 S, Salt Lake City
     (801) 359-9361

     University of Utah Outdoor Rec Center
     
2140 E. Red Butte Road, Fort Douglas, Building 650
     (801) 581-8516

     White Pine Touring
     
1790 Bonanza Drive, Park City
     (435) 649-8710


Guidebooks and Maps:

     Guidebooks:

               Snow Sense: A Guide to Evaluating Snow Avalance Hazard. By Jill Fredston & Doug Fessler.
               Staying Alive in Avalanche Terrain. By Bruce Tremper

     Maps:

               Wasatch Touring Map 1 by Alpentech
               Wasatch Touring Map 2 by Alpentech


How to Register:

Register Online

Lodging, Trailheads & Logistics - Utah Avalanche Education

Lodging, Trailheads, Lecture Venues & Directions

Avalanche with adjacent skier in Silver Fork
Digging a pit
Photo by Tyson Bradley

Accommodations:

These lodges in the town of Alta are very convenient for the Saturday and Sunday venues:

     Alta Lodge
     (801) 322-4631

     Alta's Rustler Lodge
     (801) 532-2582

     Goldminer’s Daughter
     (801) 742-2300

     Peruvian Lodge
     (801) 742-3333

     Snowbird
     (801) 933-2222

These accommodations in Salt Lake City area are also close to the Cottonwood Canyons:

     Residence Inn
     
Cottonwood Heights: 6425 South 3000 E.
     (801) 453-0430

     Skyline Inn, Foothill Drive, SLC
     Foothill Drive, SLC: 2475 E. 1700 South
     (801) 582-5350

     La Quinta Inn
     Midvale: 7231 S. Catalpa Rd
     (801) 566-3291

     Crystal Inn
     Murray: 818 E. Winchester Street
     (801) 685-9300


Lecture Venues


University of Utah Venue - Petersen Heritage Center
- 1240 East Red Butte Road

  • The class will be held on the first floor of the Heritage Center which is the building that serves primarily as the cafeteria for all student housing. The Heritage Center is the second building north of the Outdoor Recreation Program. The official address for the Outdoor Recreation Program (ORP) is 1240 East Red Butte Rd.
    • Take Foothill Drive to Wakara Way (the first street north of Sunnyside
    • Head East on Wakara Way
    • At the first stop sign take a left (heading north)
    • Continue through two more stop signs (the road curves East)
    • The Outdoor Recreation Program is on the right (brick building with basketball and volleyball courts in the back)
    • The best option for parking is to do so at the Outdoor Recreation Program. From here, head due north and find the classroom. This will take maybe 5 minutes from the cars. Staff at the ORP can provide better directions upon arrival.
    Download directions to Heritage Center (, PDF)

Westminster College - 1840 S 1300 E, Salt Lake City

  • From the south and east, I-215 north on the east belt to I-80 west, take 1300 East exit and go north.

  • From north and west, take I-80 east and exit on 1300 east (for 2008-09 exit 700 East, go north, then east on 2100 South,) go north on 1300 East.

Alta Library:

  • Above the post office in Fire Station across road from the Rustler Lodge, on SR 210, Little Cottonwood Canyon.

Peterson Heritage Center :

  • The Peterson Heritage Center is the building that serves primarily as the cafeteria for all student housing.
    • Take Foothill Drive to Wakara Way (the first street north of Sunnyside)
    • Head east on Wakara Way (right if coming from the south)
    • At the first stop sign take a left (heading north) on Chipeta Way
    • Continue through two more stop signs (the road curves East). The road turns into Connor Street and then E. Red Butte Road.
    • The Outdoor Recreation Program (ORP) is on the right in an old brick building. Park in the ORP parking lot in front or on the south side of the building.
    • From there walk north, crossing the road, then a parking lot and follow a path to the center of the dorm buildings. Turn left and walk down hill to the Heritage Center. This will take maybe 5 minutes from the cars.

Wasatch Powderbird Guides Heliport:

  • Alta Bypass Road, Snowbird Entry # 4, on SR 210, Little Cottonwood Canyon.

Wasatch Touring:

  • 702 East 100 South, Salt Lake City. (801) 539-9361


Directions to Field Days:

Meeting times and places are announced at the lecture. UMA guides generally meet their groups around 8:00 am in one of two places:

  • Park & Ride, mouth of Big Cottonwood Canyon:
    7200 South just east of Wasatch Blvd. 6200 South exit of I-215.

  • East door Albion Grill, Alta:
    Albion lot (Alta upper parking lot), end of SR 210, Little Cottonwood Canyon.

  • Alta Library:
    The library is located above the fire station in the fire station/post office building.
    Please enter by the post office door which is on the right side of the building and walk up the stairs.
    This building is located across the road from the Rustler Lodge.

How to Register:

Register Online

Frequently Asked Questions - Avalanche Education

Frequently Asked Questions - Avalanche Education

Climbers on Wasatch Summit
Enjoying the view from a Wasatch summit
Photography by Tim Walton

What is the difference between Avalanche Awareness and Level I?
The Awareness course consists of one lecture and one full field day. Beacon rescue, snowpits, and group travel are addressed. The Level I conveys the same topics in more detail, and participants get a chance to apply the skills learned under the supervision of a guide.

Which course is best for me?
If you have spent time in avalanche-prone terrain outside ski resorts, you are probably ready for the Level I. At least some touring experience is recommended, but not required.

Avalanche Awareness is for anyone considering venturing outside controlled ski resort boundaries. It is appropriate for those who have never toured before or are seeking a review of the material.

Who takes Level II?
Serious recreational backcountry skiers and snowboarders, mountaineers, ice climbers and snowshoers enjoy the class. Ski patrollers, mountain guides, heli-ski guides, and other winter outdoor leaders also are common is the course. Level I or an equivalent introductory avalanche class is a pre-requisite.

Contact UMA if you have any questions:
Call (801) 550-3986 or email us at uma@UtahMountainAdventures.com

 
Testimonials

Thanks for helping to keep us safe in the backcountry and thanks for teaching us something new !

- Kate Schmidt


We all had a blast! Tyson is a great instructor. I'm looking forward to Level II in January.

- Polly Hart


All in all it was a wonderful experience and we definitely gained the confidence that we will be able to make sound decisions in the backcountry.

- Todd Berget


   
   

Avalanche Courses, Classes, Workshops and Seminars - Salt Lake City, Utah - Utah Mountain Adventures

Utah Mountain Adventures’ highly-regarded avalanche courses include the, 12-hour, Avalanche Awareness, the popular, 24-hour Avalanche I, and an intensive, 32-hour Level II, geared to the serious professional or recreational practitioner. All courses split time between field sessions and powerpoint lectures, videos, and other visual aids. UMA courses distinguish themselves from many others by offering low student to instructor ratios thus creating a great environment for hands-on education.

The Wasatch Range with its layered snowpack, and abundant, easily accessed avalanche terrain, is an ideal place to learn rescue, stability assessment, route-finding, snow science, safe travel, etc.

Our instructors, many of whom work as professional forecasters for the Utah Avalanche Center, Department of Transportation, heli-ski operations, and ski resorts, are passionate about teaching.  Their goal is to arm students with the knowledge to make informed decisions and stay safe.  Skiers, snowboarders, mountaineers, snowshoers, snowmobilers, patrollers, forecasters, ice climbers, etc. benefit from UMA courses.