An avalanche is a mass of snow, ice, and rocks falling rapidly down a mountainside. Many avalanches are triggered by humans and some are deadly. At Telluride Avalanche School, we can teach you how to take-on the backcountry safely.

According to the Colorado Avalanche Information Center, an average of 27 people have died in avalanches each winter in the United States over the last 10 years. Most US avalanche fatalities have occurred in Colorado. 

Telluride Avalanche School is committed to raising avalanche awareness. We operate in partnership with Telluride Adventures. Several avalanche education opportunities are offered throughout the winter season. Our skilled instructors are avalanche forecasters, snow safety experts, professional ski patrollers, and members of the American Avalanche Association (AAA) or American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education (AIARE).

Avalanche Courses

Telluride Avalanche School’s most popular courses include:

AIARE Avalanche Rescue

This one-day stand alone course is intended to be retaken on a regular basis. New participants will learn the basics of companion rescue, while return participants will expand their knowledge base. AIARE recommends that all backcountry travelers keep their skills current by taking an Avalanche Rescue Course at least every other year.

AIARE Level 1

This three-day course acts as an introduction to avalanche hazard management. Participants will learn how to prepare for and carry out a backcountry trip. Fundamental decision making and the rescue techniques required to locate and dig out a companion are also detailed.

AIARE Level 2

This three-day course is for those who have completed both Avalanche Rescue and Level 1 instruction and have at least one year of practical backcountry experience. Participants will have an opportunity to advance their backcountry leadership and decision making skills in more complicated scenarios.

Are you interested in taking a course with Telluride Avalanche School? Please contact us for more information!

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Community Programs

In addition to avalanche courses for recreationists, Telluride Avalanche School offers several programs within the community:

Avalanche Beacon Rescue Clinics

Avalanche professionals demonstrate the latest techniques in beacon rescue while participants experience supervised practice in the field. Free to the public, 4-5 times per season.

Classroom Extension Programs

Each year, we work with Telluride area classroom teachers to create hands-on education programs for their students. It is Telluride Avalanche School’s mission to provide our youth with an understanding of the dangers associated with skiing in the backcountry.

Living In Avalanche Country – An 8th Grade Science Unit

Every winter, we design a two-week science unit in Avalanche Education for local eighth graders. Students in this program learn about how weather, terrain, and snowpack all contribute to the creation of avalanches.

Do you want to learn more about Telluride Avalanche School’s special programming? Contact us today!

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COVID-19 Information

Your safety and wellbeing is of the utmost importance to us. Please call us to discuss any questions or concerns. We look forward to adventuring with you!