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AVALANCHE LEVEL ONE — Module 1, 2 & 3 is a long and demanding course.  It is three days with two of those spent in the field, outside in weather that can be quite extreme.  The course is designed for those who have a Professional Rescuer requirement for taking all three modules.  It will test you as a student; please do not register unless you are ready for the challenge.  If you are looking for a Senior Elective,  please look for an “Avalanche Level One – Module 1” course which is “only” one day long and qualifies as a Senior program elective.  These short one-day Avalanche courses are taught at the Region level and can be found by searching local Region Events.

This course at Smuggler’s Notch requires accending every morning on Nordic skis or backcountry equipment with “skins.”  Downhill skis are not acceptable.  This is a serious backcountry-based course; students should be proficient on Nordic Skis, Telemark skis with skins, Alpine Touring Skis with skins or Split-Board snowboards with skins.  If you do not regularly ski/ride on this type of equipment, this course is not for you (look for a one-day Avalanche Level One – Module 1 course taught by local Regions).

The academic load for the classroom portion of this course is also demanding.  All students are expected to do their assigned textbook reading weeks before the event and submit an open book online test.

Once all the students gather for the course, the first day in the classroom will introduce the Avalanche Triangle, the “How’s and Mean’s” of avalanche formation, significant snow and avalanche terminology, decision making, trip planning, as well as companion and organized rescue operations.  All of this begins in the classroom.  The second and third days, are spent in the field — touring.  Both field exercises require ascending into Vermont’s Green Mountains to work “hands-on” with the new knowledge, experiencing avalanche terrain for real and developing personal awareness.

Prerequisites for the course include:

  1. reading the assignments and preparing for the online test;
  2. attending an “Online Learning Series”  which sets the perspective of the textbook against the practical fieldwork activities at Smuggs;
  3. you must be in physically fit condition and be proficient on the right equipment to travel and spend a full day in the outdoor winter environment.

Expect to ski/ride very challenging terrain.  Anyone who shows up wearing cotton will be sent home.  Remember, it can get extremely cold in northern Vermont.  Students will need to use every skill learned in their MTR ONE course (MTR teaches mountain travel, staying warm and winter survival — to increase your chances for success, it is recommended that students take MTR One prior to attending this course).

Both the AAA (American Avalanche Association) and AIARE (American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education) recognize NSP’s Avalanche Level 1 course for rescue professionals.

Students will be directed to the NSP Store for textbook purchases.  Non-NSP Members will need to make arrangements with the Instructor to obtain all the books.

The full “Avalanche Level 1 for Rescuers” course fee (includes Modules 1, 2, and 3):

  1. $400.00 Non-Member Public Admission
  2. $250.00 National Ski Patrol Members.

This course requires additional costs for lodging and accommodations during the three-day stay.  Register early, there is a limit of only 12 students.  A waitlist develops every season.  Additional information will arrive by email; your slot in the course is only assured after payment is confirmed.

If you do not need Module 1 because you attended a classroom session in your local Region, please contact the Instructor of Record for additional information or Email the Avalanche Program Supervisor.  Accommodations are available. However, this course is for rescuers, so you will be expected to attend all three days.  It will help prepare you for the anticipated difficulties encountered in the field exercises.  The Eastern Division Avalanche program often schedules one course that teaches  Module 2 & 3.  Return to the Avalanche page to see the course offerings for the season.


  • Avalanche Level 1 for Rescue Personnel
    January 28, 2022 - January 30, 2022
    9:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Details Price Qty
non-Member Priceshow details + $400.00 (USD)  
NSP Member Priceshow details + $250.00 (USD)  

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Venue Phone: 800-419-4615

Venue Website:

4323 Vermont Route 108 South, Smugglers' Notch, Vermont, 05464, United States