• Avalanche Training Students study snow crystals in a snow pit in Telluride Colorado

    Avalanche Training in Telluride Colorado

  • Avalanche School Students head out for Fieldwork in Telluride Colorado

    Avalanche School Fieldwork in Telluride Colorado


The Telluride Avalanche School offers several avalanche education opportunities throughout the winter season including: one 4-day avalanche course, two 3-day avalanche courses, one 2-day avalanche course, our free Monday Night Avalanche Awareness Forum Series and as well as our free Avalanche Beacon Rescue Clinics.

Our 4 and 3-day courses curricula adhere to American Avalanche Association (AAA) guidelines and curriculum from the American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education (AIARE) and all participants receive a Certificate of Completion for these courses. Field sessions make up at least 50% of course content and are conducted in real avalanche terrain.

All of our highly-skilled instructors/guides are avalanche forecasters, snow safety experts, professional ski patrollers and/or professional members of the AAA and/or AIARE who understand the importance of creating dynamic and interesting lessons.

Our Monday Night Avalanche Forums are designed to encourage avalanche safety and awareness and involve a variety of guest speakers. They are free and open to the public.

The Telluride Avalanche School operates in partnership with the San Juan Outdoor Adventures/Telluride Adventures, a fully insured USDA Forest Service permitted outfitter in the Uncompahgre and San Juan National Forests and an Equal Opportunity Service Provider. Our avalanche education programs are presented in coordination with the Telluride Ski Patrol. These programs would not be possible without the generous support of the Telluride Foundation, CCAASE, TSG Ski & Golf, LLC, the Telluride Mountain Village Owner’s Association and other generous donations.

Level 1 Offerings:

January 8-10, 2016
February 5-7, 2016
March 4-6, 2016
$325.00 per person

Community Avalanche Programs

Monday Night Avalanche Awareness Forum Series

Where: Rebekah Hall – 113 West Columbia
When: Monday, February 29th – 7:00 p.m.

Searching with Avalanche BeaconJoin the San Juan Field School and Telluride Ski Patrol on select Monday nights to hear a variety of guest speakers. This series is designed to encourage avalanche safety and awareness. These evening discussions take place 5-6 times throughout the winter season. Our programs involve a variety of guest speakers and are designed to stimulate thought about avalanche safety. Free to the public. Call (970) 728-4101 for information.

Avalanche Beacon Rescue Clinics

Our free Avalanche Beacon Rescue Clinics are offered 4-6 times each season. In these 2-3 hour sessions, you will have the opportunity to meet with a variety of avalanche professionals to learn the latest techniques in avalanche beacon rescue while engaging in supervised practice in the field. Specific clinic dates to be announced. FREE and open to the public. Call (970) 728-4101 for information.


Classroom Extension Programs 

Norwood Classroom Fieldtrip AVI trainingEach year, the Telluride Avalanche School works with Telluride area classroom teachers to create experiential education programs that enhance the educational curricula of their classes. Whether students are studying the sciences, humanities or outdoor education, the Telluride Avalanche School is able to create programs that meet the needs of each student group. Our programs take students to outdoor classrooms so that they may explore the natural and cultural history of the Telluride region. The Telluride Avalanche School successfully works with a variety of local teachers to create specialized curricular experiences that meet their academic goals.

To this end, the Telluride Avalanche School has an extensive Avalanche Education program that reaches students in all area schools. A survey conducted in the Telluride Middle/High School in 2000, revealed that many students considered themselves expert skiers/riders with adequate knowledge to travel in Telluride’s backcountry, specifically through the Ski Area’s Backcountry Access Points. And yet, when asked how to recognize avalanche terrain, use avalanche rescue gear, or what to do in case of an emergency, most students exhibited a profound ignorance about proper protocols. The Telluride Ski Area has no way of controlling who may leave the ski area and enter the dangerous avalanche terrain of Bear Creek. It thus becomes the responsibility of local educational organizations to provide our youth with an adequate understanding of the profound dangers associated with skiing/riding Telluride’s Backcountry.

Living In Avalanche Country – An 8th Grade Science Unit 

Norwood 6-8 grade AVI classroom extensionIn conjunction with the Telluride School District ‘s Outdoor Education Program, The Telluride Avalanche School works each year with local teacher, Colin Hubbard to create a two-week 8th Grade Mini-Unit in Avalanche Education. Students in this program devote their science classes to learning about the geo-dynamics of avalanches and how weather, terrain, and snowpack all play significant roles in creation of avalanches. They gain an understanding of the basic physics of snow science and how the metamorphism of individual snow crystals results in a recipe for disaster. The program culminates in an in-depth field trip to Lizard Head Pass in which students join a variety of avalanche professionals to dig snowpits, learn avalanche rescue techniques and practice route-finding skills.