Request a Class

The Northwest Avalanche Center (NWAC) offers free avalanche classes to the public throughout our forecast area. These classes are a short format, less than two hour, multi-media presentation geared towards the novice wintertime backcountry user. If you or your group is interested in hosting an NWAC avalanche awareness class please get in contact with Brigit Anderson, NWAC Education Coordinator to schedule a free awareness class.

Brigit Anderson

NWAC - AIARE Avalanche Awareness - Class Details

Our Avalanche Awareness classes are a collaborative partnership between NWAC and the American Institute of Avalanche Research and Education (AIARE). The NWAC - AIARE Avalanche Awareness Program is offered as a public service to communities, schools and outdoor clubs. Program length is 1.5 hours. Specific programs are in place for youth (middle and high school), motorized (snowmobile) users, non-motorized (skier, snowboarder, snowshoer) along with mixed user groups.

Targeting the young and unaware backcountry traveler, our Avalanche Awareness class introduces the concepts of avalanche danger recognition and how to reduce your risk along with:

  • where and why avalanches occur
  • understating who gets caught and why
  • providing a basic approach to staying safe in the backcountry

NWAC–AIARE Avy Awareness Class Student Learning Outcomes:

  • learn to access NWAC avalanche and weather forecasts
  • recognize basic signs of avalanche danger
  • learn to avoid avalanche danger
  • understand the need for companion rescue techniques and equipment

The class utilizes interactive presentation materials and local case histories and encourages questions from the audience. Participants that are more than casual users of the backcountry are encouraged to take a multiple day avalanche course.