Text 10 Feb Backcountry Education in High Demand @KirkwoodMtn


With all the new/fresh snow Kirkwood has received in such a short amount of time, this is setting up the perfect environment for avalanche education and awareness. If you are new to the backcountry scene and are not sure where to start, Expedition: Kirkwood’s BCA Awareness Course is the perfect place for you. Learn the basic skills needed to venture into the backcountry in this four hour course, including avalanche awareness and avoidance, equipment usage, snow observations and safe terrain travel. Clinics are lead by Expedition Guides and are limited to 8 participants.

Next Course is 2/23

Intermediate and upper level skills needed.

Clinics fill up quickly; advanced reservations recommended - call 209.258.7360


If you are experienced in the backcountry but would like to expand your backcountry knowledge Expedition: Kirkwood’s AIARE Level 1 Course is calling…  

This 3-day Avalanche Certification course is taught under the guidelines of the American Institute of Avalanche Research & Education (A.I.A.R.E.) with certified avalanche instructors. This course is a great introduction or refresher course to understanding the “Avalanche Phenomenon.” Students will learn groundwork for smart decision making in the field. Course curriculum includes preparing and carrying out a successful trip, avalanche terrain recognition, safe versus un-safe ascent and descent routes, as well as effective companion rescue techniques.

We cover a lot in three days. Combining classroom and field time, participants learn types and classes of avalanches, how they form, and an introduction to layering and metamorphosing. Field observation techniques such as bonding tests, red flags and the use of field books will also be covered. Additionally, students learn avalanche terrain recognition, assessment and proper route selection, finding and travel techniques. The most important topics we will cover during this three day couris is proper companion rescue, including equipment, organizing a rescue, the three phases of a transceiver search and proper rescue digging techniques.

This avalanche course provides students with the basics for proper decision making while in the backcountry or chairlift accessed backcountry skiing and riding. Skiers, snowboarders and telemark skiers are encouraged to attend. While no course can guarantee a person’s safety; proper training and education builds the framework to make proper decisions and stay safe.

Next Course is 2/25-27

Intermediate and upper level skills needed. 

Clinics fill up quickly; advanced reservations recommended - call 209.258.7360.

Chris Eckert,

Expedition:Kirkwood Supervisor