AVALANCHE LEVEL ONE — Modules 1, 2 & 3  National Ski Patrol avalanche education in the Adirondacks! Learn the basics of avalanche safety and rescue in this Level 1 class. Set in the beautiful town of Wilmington, NY, using the venues of our program partners, Whiteface Mountain Ski Area and The University at Albany Atmospheric Science and Research Center. This class offers skiers and riders the unique classroom learning opportunity where weather and climate scientists work.  As well as access to Whitefaces’ “The Slides,” which is the only lift-accessible in-bounds avalanche terrain in the eastern United States. Our diverse group of instructors includes members of the Mt. Washington Ski Patrol, local guides, and members of the NSP from across the region.

This course meets the National Ski Patrol requirements for avalanche rescue but is open to everyone.  If you are an NSP member 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 regional level and can be found by searching local Region Events.

This course will be conducted in two venues:

Venue 1) Online Learning and Zoom sessions. Module 1 will be conducted as an online learning course with lectures, videos, and online exercises, and three live ZOOM conferences the month prior to field dates. Attendance is required, and completion exercises online will be graded before attending Modules 2 and 3 fieldwork.

Venue 2) Modules 2&3, including fieldwork with hands-on skill development, will be conducted at Whiteface Resort and the surrounding area outside the Atmospheric Center.  The terrain is extremely challenging, with miles of uphill travel on backcountry equipment. Weather conditions at Whiteface are extremely challenging. Please consider your level of physical fitness before registering for this course.

This course is long and demanding!  You will be experiencing avalanche terrain.  Learning personal and group hazard awareness, mitigation, and what to do when things go wrong. During field sessions, you will ascend daily on backcountry equipment with “skins.”  This is a serious backcountry-based course; students should be proficient on 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 may not be 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. Completion of online classroom work.  And submitting an open-book online test before the in-person class begins in Wilmington.

Friday begins in the classroom with a Q&A review and a few presentations, and then we head into the field for the afternoon.  The entire second and third days are spent in the field.  Saturday, touring in the backside of Whiteface Mountain, Sunday at Whiteface Ski Area (lift passes provided by Whiteface for no charge!!)  All field exercises require ascending into the mountains to work “hands-on” with the knowledge learned before coming.

Prerequisites for the course include:

  1. reading the assignments and completing the online classroom;
  2. getting a passing grade on the online, open-book test;
  3. you must be in physically fit condition and be proficient with the right equipment to travel and spend a full day in the outdoor winter environment.

Expect to ski/ride very challenging terrain.  Remember, it can get extremely cold, windy, and snowy in northern New York.  Proper clothing for the environment and the day’s weather is key to enjoying and getting the most out of your learning experience

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

  1. $450.00 Non-Member Public Admission
  2. $300.00 National Ski Patrol Members.

This course requires additional costs for lodging and accommodations if you are traveling from a distance.  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 at your local Region within the last three years, 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 students for the anticipated difficulties encountered in the field exercises.

Please use the WAITLIST once the event sells out


  • Avalanche Level 1 for Rescue Personnel
     January 26, 2024 - January 28, 2024
     8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Details Price Qty
non-Member Priceshow details + $450.00 (USD)  
NSP Member Priceshow details + $300.00 (USD)  
Qualified Whiteface SP Member (paid by mgnt)show details + $0.00 (USD)  

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Venue Phone: 518-946-2142

Venue Website:

110 Marble Mountain Lane, Wilmington, New York, 12997, United States