Scheduled Courses - Avalanche Education

Avalanche Classes & Workshops

Avalanche Skills Course:

Introduction to rescue skills and avalanche beacon searches, route finding, snow pack evaluation and minimizing exposure to hazards. Designed as a first avalanche course, or short refresher, this class is ideal for backcountry skiers, snowboarders, mountaineers and snowshoers wishing to make informed route-finding decisions and mitigate risk while traveling in avalanche-prone terrain.

Weekend Touring and Avalanche Skills Course:

During two days of touring, learn avalanche skills, beacon rescue, safe route selection, efficient skinning, downhill technique on skis and split-snowboard, and enjoy legendary Wasatch terrain. Designed for those who'd like to learn it all in a weekend!

Private Instruction - Avalanche Education

Private Instruction - Avalanche Education

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: $349 for one person plus $133 for each additional person plus tax

Digging Snowpits, Level 1 Avalanche Refresher

Avalanche pouring off Hellgate Cliffs, Alta, Utah

Photo by Craig Dillon

Gear & Equipment - Avalanche Education Courses

Gear, Equipment Rentals, Books & Maps

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
Avalanche with adjacent skier in Silver Fork

Avalanche with adjacent skier in Silver Fork

Photo by Bruce Tremper

Download Gear List ( pdf-icon PDF)

* UMA will provide you with an avalanche transceiver, a shovel and/or a backpack if you need them. UMA rents alpine touring skis, skins and split snowboards. Other equipment is available for rent at local ski shops.

Utah Mountain Adventures Rentals:

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


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:


Snow Sense: A Guide to Evaluating Snow Avalance Hazard. By Jill Fredston & Doug Fessler.

Staying Alive in Avalanche Terrain. By Bruce Tremper


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


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


(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

Ice fall-triggered avalanche in St. Elias Mountains, AK

Ice fall-triggered avalanche in St. Elias Mountains, AK

Photo by Tyson Bradley

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-icon 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

What is the difference between Avalanche Skills and Level I?

The Skills 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 Skills is for anyone considering venturing outside controlled ski resort boundaries. It is appropriate for those who have never toured before or are seeking a succinct 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 in the course. Level I or an equivalent introductory avalanche class is a prerequisite.

Climbers on Wasatch Summit

Utah Backcountry Skiing

Photo by Tyson Bradley

Contact UMA if you have any questions:

Call (801) 550-3986 or email us at

Utah Mountain Adventures

P.O. Box 521809

Salt Lake City, Utah 84152-1809

Phone: (801) 550 3986

Fax: (801) 486 8505


Utah Mountain Adventures | Patagonia Utah Mountain Adventures | Forest Service Backcountry Skiing Utah, by Tyson Bradley
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.