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Trip

Utah

Ski & Snowboard

Trip Utah Avalanche Level 1 Course
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Questions? Let us help! Call us at 1-866-386-1590
Learn the skills to travel in avalanche terrain and make informed decisions in the backcountry.

Avalanche Level 1 provides students with a solid foundation of skills which enables them to travel more safely and make informed decisions in the backcountry. SIET Avalanche programs are unique in that the class size is capped at 12 students (6 per instructor), which allows the instructor to customize the course to specific student goals and provide more one-on-one coaching. 

This course will cover a curriculum that meets (and exceeds!) the guidelines of the American Avalanche Association. The program is 24 hours long with 60% of course time spent in the field and 40% in the classroom, as per the American Avalanche Association guidelines.

Most importantly, all SIET avalanche courses are led by IFMGA or AMGA Certified Ski Guides who have extensive backcountry experience, have Level 2 Pro Certifications, are AAA Pros, have taught dozens of avalanche courses, and are well versed in the most current industry best practices.


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Itinerary
Itinerary
Note that the itin­er­ary is sub­ject to change due to inclement weath­er, unsafe route con­di­tions, determined in the guide’s best judgement, or any other reasons beyond our con­trol.
  • 1
    Day number 1
    Day 1 + 2:

    Thursday - First Evening Lecture Session:
    This Zoom classroom session will be an introduction to the course, outlining the skills and knowledge that will be gained and how this will allow you to travel safely through the backcountry. It will be a theory-based session where the guides will cover the Avalanche Hazard Triangle, how to identify the different avalanche types and snowpack, and how to read the Avalanche Danger Scale and the Avalanche Forecast.

    Friday - Second Evening Lecture Session:
    Following on from the first Zoom classroom session, the guides will discuss weather patterns, the terrain types that you come across in the backcountry and tour planning. They will then discuss the plan for the following days of the course.

    The lecture evenings are followed by 8 hour days in the field, putting the theory into practice and allowing you to apply these skills in scenarios you could see in the mountains.
  • 2
    Day number 2
    Day 3

    Saturday - Field Day:

    At 7.30am the group will meet at Guardsman Pass, the trailhead that will lead us into Big Cottonwood Canyon. Field topics for the day will include matching the weather forecast to a plan, trailhead checks, rescue scenarios and snow stability tests. During this day there will be little mountain travel, approximately 1 mile in total. The day will end at 4.30pm.
  • 3
    Day number 3
    Day 4

    Sunday - Field Day and Lecture:

    At 7.30am, the group will meet in Big or Little Cottonwood Canyon (exact location to be determined). Today’s field topics will include terrain selection, important on-the-go tests, weather and snowpack observations and group travel techniques. Expect and dress for a solid day of mountain travel. The field section of the day will end at 2.00pm.

    On Sunday late afternoon, the guides and students will conclude the course with a 3-hour lecture. This will cover human factors that can impact the safety of backcountry travel, and planning and prepping using checklists and navigation software. There will then be the opportunity to ask the guides any questions that you have, and to discuss the next steps in your winter backcountry education.
Trip Package Includes
  • Professional instruction with a lead instructor who is AMGA Ski Certified
  • Backcountry permits
  • 20% discount code for evo.com (exclusions apply)
Trip Package Does Not Include
  • Air­fare
  • Transportation to and from the trailhead
  • Hotel accommodations
  • Meals
  • Personal gear (see FAQ for rental options)
  • Guide gra­tu­ities
  • Travel insurance (we recommend World Nomads) 

Questions? Call or email us!
Area Information

Wasatch Range


The Wasatch Range is sculpted by glaciers, and receives heavy falls of snow in the winter, creating a very dramatic and impressive landscape. Due to its location, the range has low relative humidity during the winter months, giving the snow a dry, powdery texture which most of the local ski resorts call ‘the greatest snow on earth”. For the course we will be passing through Guardsman Pass trailhead, a high mountain pass in the Wasatch Range and into Big Cottonwood Canyon. Big and Little Cottonwood Canyons have some of the easiest to access backcountry skiing in the country, with world-class terrain just minutes from the parking lot. This area is an environment that truly has it all - valleys filled with trees that lead up to impressive peaks and rock formations, and snowy classrooms that are an incredible place for backcountry education!

 
Trip Planning

Trip Planning

This course can be taken on alpine touring skis or splitboard. It is highly recommended that participants with touring gear have experience with their setup prior to taking the course and be comfortable in steep blue/back terrain at the ski resort.

Below is a list of required and recommended equipment for your adventure. This is the bare minimum for your average winter day, and if you tend to get cold in winter conditions, especially while not moving, be prepared and bring more layers. Dressing properly and having the correct equipment will help enable the guides to provide a safer and more fun experience for your group. In the mountains, the weather can be temperamental and can change quickly and drastically.

Required Equipment
Snow Study Kit (the following items are optional but will be useful for the course and future trips)
Recommended Clothing
Other Recommended Gear
FAQ
FAQ
  • I need local accommodations. Do you have recommendations?
    We recommend Extend Stay America, it's close to the mountains without the mountain town prices. evo also has a new SLC Hotel opening up in winter 2021, so if interested let us know and we can keep you posted on whether it will be open for your course dates!
  • What COVID-19 policies do you have in place?
    SIET has a detailed COVID-19 Operations Plan which will be covered prior to the trip. All participants must fill out a pre-trip COVID-19 questionnaire/agreement. Classroom lectures will be held via Zoom instead of in person.
  • Do I need any prior training to participate in this course?
    No previous training is required to take part in this course.
  • What is the deposit amount to hold my space?
    The deposit due at time of booking is $300. This includes a $100 non-refundable registration fee. Your balance will be due 60 days prior to your course start date. If you book your trip within 60 days of the course start date, full payment will be due.
  • How physically fit do I have to be for this course?
    This can be a physically demanding course, and your ability to enjoy the adventure depends on your health and fitness, thus it is recommended that you are in good physical condition.
  • Who are the guides?
    SIET guides are highly experienced instructors that have been trained by the American Mountain Guides Association (AMGA), the American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education (AIARE), or the American Avalanche Institute (AAI). They are some of the best, most highly trained and experienced instructors in the country!
  • Are rentals available?
    Yes, rental gear can be secured through Skimo or Wasatch Touring. From February on we are excited to be able to offer gear rentals through our evo SLC Campus store (coming soon).
  • What if I need to cancel?
    evo will refer to the SIET cancellation policy. If you need to cancel your trip, please submit your notification in writing. Your trip will be cancelled from the date you receive written notice from SIET. You will be assessed a cancellation fee according to the following schedule: > More than 60 days from trip departure - $100 registration fee > 60 days or less from trip departure - 100% of trip cost. The course may also be cancelled due to bad weather, sickness, low enrollment, or other logistical challenges. Trip insurance is advised.
  • What if I need to change the dates of my trip?
    All date changes must be received in writing. There will be a fee of $100 for date changes. Any date changes can be difficult and is subject to all additional incurred expenses as assessed by SIET. Changes will be made at the sole discretion of SIET and may not be possible. Date changes are for credit only (no refunds) and valid for 6 months from written change notification.
  • When and how do I meet up with the group?
    You will receive detailed instructions regarding when and how to meet the group from SIET.
  • What is the maximum number of guests on the trip?
    There is a maximum of 10 guests for this course. The guest:guide ratio is 5:1, with groups of 10 being split into 2 groups due to COVID.
  • Is there a minimum age required for this trip?
    You must be 18 years or older to attend this course.
  • Is transportation provided?
    Transport is not provided; bear in mind that all wheel drive and/or chains are sometimes required by law in the Wasatch.
Testimonials
“Unlike most programs, SIET does not teach rules blindly, but rather how to draw your own conclusions and choose when and how rules should be applied - the ability to think critically in the mountains.”
Emily McKay
SIET Testimonial
“The SIET instructors are clearly first-class alpinists, and dedicated teachers. They were consistently able to anticipate the mistakes students would make, and instantly leverage them into learning opportunities - a hallmark of great coaching and instruction.”
Rich Murray
SIET Testimonial
“My SIET trip was an experience of a lifetime and an adventure I will never forget!”
Neil Seifert
SIET Testimonial

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Questions? Let us help! Call us at 1-866-386-1590

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A destination near you

Coming Soon
Sorry, this trip is sold out
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Questions? Let us help! Call us at
1-866-386-1590
Trip

Questions? Let us help! Call us at 1-866-386-1590

Select Your Trip

A destination near you

Coming Soon
Sorry, this trip is sold out
Sorry, this trip is no longer available

Questions? Let us help! Call us at
1-866-386-1590