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

2023/24 Dates

Dec 7 - 10, 2023 Thur-Sun
Class Full  
Dec 14 - 17, 2023 Thur-Sun
Class Full  
Dec 18 - 21, 2023 Mon-Thur
Class Full  
Jan 4 - 7, 2024 Thur-Sun
Class Full  
Jan 8 - 11, 2024 Mon-Thur
Jan 18 - 21, 2024 Thur-Sun
Class Full  
Jan 22 - 25, 2024 Mon-Thur
Feb 1 - 4, 2024 Thur-Sun
Feb 5 - 8, 2024 Mon-Thur
Feb 15 - 18, 2024 Thur-Sun
Feb 29 - Mar 3, 2024 Thur-Sun
Mar 14 - 17, 2024 Thur-Sun
Mar 28 - 31, 2024 Thur-Sun
Apr 11 - 14, 2024 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)


This course requires sufficient fitness to travel 1,000 ft uphill on skins or snowshoes at altitudes of 7,000ft and above. Participants must feel comfortable linking downhill turns in variable backcountry snow conditions. Prior field-based beginner avalanche class and/or multiple days of backcountry travel experience is strongly recommended.

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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