Level 1 Avalanche Classes - Salt Lake City, Utah

Level 1 Avalanche Course

UMA's Level 1, taught in the ideal backcountry terrain of Big and Little Cottonwood Canyons, is a 24-hr course, standardized in the USA by the American Avalanche Association, and equivalent to AIARE 1. It's designed for backcountry travelers seeking a comprehensive, intermediate-level snow safety course. UMA avalanche instructors are broadly experienced, patient, passionate professionals with an intimate knowledge of the Wasatch Mountains and snowpack. Forty percent of the course is classroom-based. Sixty percent is in the backcountry, in and around avalanche terrain.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Accessing and understanding content of local avalanche reports
  • Effectively applying an avalanche forecast to decision-making
  • Where and why avalanches run and key components of their formation
  • Recognition and management of human factor risks
  • Effective group communication
  • Using simple decision-making and planning tools
  • Trailhead checks, safe travel protocols and procedures to minimize risk and exposure
  • Companion rescue skills, including single-beacon recovery, efficient probing and shoveling techniques
  • Basics of weather with respect to snowpack layering and structure
  • Performing key snowpack tests and observations
  • Recognizing avalanche terrain in field and during classroom route-finding exercises
  • Selecting terrain and route appropriate to the present avalanche forecast and problem
  • Associating objectives to terrain and avalanche avoidance

How to Register:

Avalanche with adjacent skier in Silver Fork

Avalanche with adjacent skier in Silver Fork

Photo by Bruce Tremper

Course Details

2022/23 Dates

Dec 8 - 11, 2022 Thur-Sun
Dec 15 - 18, 2022 Thur-Sun
Dec 19 - 22, 2022 Mon-Thur
Jan 5 - 8, 2023 Thur-Sun
Jan 9 - 12, 2023 Mon-Thur
Jan 19 - 22, 2023 Thur-Sun
Jan 23 - 26, 2023 Mon-Thur
Feb 2 - 5, 2023 Thur-Sun
Feb 6 - 9, 2023 Mon-Thur
Feb 16 - 19, 2023 Thur-Sun
Mar 2 - 5, 2023 Thur-Sun
Mar 16 - 19, 2023 Thur-Sun
Apr 6 - 9, 2023 Thur-Sun

Course Schedules

Thurs & Fri: 5:30-9pm, Interactive Virtual Lectures
Sat: 7:30am-3:30pm, Field Session
Sun: 7:30am-2:30pm, Field Session
[Travel break]
Sun: 4:30-6:30pm, Interactive Virtual Closing Lecture

Mon: 5:30-9pm, Interactive Virtual Lectures
Tues: 7:30am-3:30pm, Field Session
Wed: 5:30-9pm, Interactive Virtual Lectures
Thurs: 7:30am-2:30pm, Field Session
[Travel break]
Thurs: 4:30-6:30pm, Interactive Virtual Closing Lecture


Big and Little Cottonwood Canyons, Salt Lake City, Utah


$549 pp plus tax (weekends)
$499 pp plus tax (weekdays)


Requires sufficient fitness to travel 1,500 ft uphill at altitudes of 7,000ft and above. Must feel comfortable making downhill turns in variable snow conditions unless using snowshoes. Prior Avalanche Awareness class and backcountry travel experience is recommended, but not required.

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Utah Mountain Adventures

P.O. Box 521809

Salt Lake City, Utah 84152-1809

Phone: (801) 550 3986

Fax: (801) 486 8505

Email: uma@utahmountainadventures.com

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