Overview of Motorized Avalanche Classes 

For Winter 2022, SAC is offering Level 1, Rescue, and Level 2 avalanche classes for motorized users. It is recommended that classes be taken in that order. All classes follow the guidelines established by the American Avalanche Association, and are free to the public but require advanced registration. Classes fill very quickly, so please read all the following information carefully and be prepared to register on the given date and time. No spaces can be reserved prior to registration. There is a maximum enrollment of the following:

  • Level 1: 10 people per class
  • Rescue: 12 people per class
  • Level 2: 8 people per class

To register, please download and complete the participant agreement and participant info documents in advance. Once registration opens, a link will appear at the very bottom of this page. Follow the link to the specific class you're interested in, where you'll be prompted to enter your information and upload your completed documents. Note the dates and locations of classes and when they open for registration. Some classes will run midweek, so check your calendar carefully before enrolling.

Level 1 Classes 

Level 1 classes provide an introduction to recreational avalanche risk management for motorized users. These classes are free, thanks to funding from the California Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Commission. For details on Level 1 classes, please download the syllabus at the bottom of this page and read it completely. Participants must:

  • Have the ability to ride off-trail in variable conditions. Participants who struggle to ride off-trail in variable conditions may jeopardize the experience of others - please do not overestimate your riding ability.
  • Bring a functioning beacon, shovel, and probe. Beacons should be modern three-antennae, shovels should be made specifically for avalanche rescue, and probes should be 270cm or longer. Avalanche gear must be worn/carried on self, and not in tunnel bag. An extra shovel in tunnel bag is recommended.
  • Wear a DOT or similarly approved helmet and weather-appropriate gear.
  • Ride a reliable, well maintained snowmobile/snowbike, capable of off-trail travel. Machines must be registered with visible registration markings. Spare belts and repair kits are strongly recommended. Poorly maintained machines and/or machines not intended for off-trail travel may jeopardize the experience of others.
  • Read the required materials and apply the Daily Flow and Alerts stickers to machines for easy reference while riding.
  • Bring a radio capable of operating on FRS/GMRS frequencies. A simple speaker/mic is preferable to voice activated systems.

Classes run each day from 9am-5pm. Instructors will communicate specific plans prior to and throughout the class. Level 1 dates and approximate locations are the following:

  • Feb 4,5,6 in Truckee (field sessions likely out of Little Truckee Summit). Opens for registration on Dec 27th at 8am.
  • Feb 7,8,9 in Truckee (field sessions likely out of Little Truckee Summit). Opens for registration on Dec 28th at 8am.
  • Feb 18,19,20 in South Lake Tahoe (field sessions likely out of Blue Lakes, Ebbetts Pass, or Tragedy Springs). Opens for registration on Jan 10th at 8am.
  • Feb 25,26,27 in South Lake Tahoe (field sessions likely out of Blue Lakes, Ebbetts Pass, or Tragedy Springs). Opens for registration on jan 17th at 8am.
  • March 4,5,6 in South Lake Tahoe (field sessions likely out of Blue Lakes, Ebbetts Pass, or Tragedy Springs). Opens for registration on Jan 24th at 8am.

Motorized Avalanche Rescue

These classes are free to the public, funded directly by SAC and not by the CA OHV Commission. Please consider making a donation to SAC!!! 

Rescue classes provide avalanche rescue practice for motorized users, and can be taken every few seasons to refresh. If you've taken an Avalanche Rescue class recently, please allow some time after registration opens before you attempt to register for another class. Because avalanche avoidance skills should be prioritized over avalanche rescue skills, it is strongly recommended - but not required - that only graduates of a Level 1 register for this class (the Level 1 can be motorized or non-motorized). If riding ability prevents participation in a Level 1, the Rescue class may be a good starting point until riding ability improves. For details on Rescue classes, please download the syllabus at the bottom of this page and read it completely. Participants must:

  • Have the ability to ride off-trail in variable conditions. Riding ability is less important on Rescue classes than on Level 1 and Level 2 classes, but participants still need to be able to ride off-trail in variable conditions.
  • Bring a functioning beacon, shovel, and probe. Beacons should be modern three-antennae, shovels should be made specifically for avalanche rescue, and probes should be 270cm or longer. Avalanche gear must be worn/carried on self, and not in tunnel bag. An extra shovel in tunnel bag is recommended.
  • Wear a DOT or similarly approved helmet and weather-appropriate gear.
  • Ride a reliable, well maintained snowmobile/snowbike, capable of off-trail travel. Machines must be registered with visible registration markings. Spare belts and repair kits are strongly recommended. Poorly maintained machines and/or machines not intended for off-trail travel may jeopardize the experience of others.
  • Read the required materials and apply the Daily Flow and Alerts stickers to machines for easy reference while riding.
  • Bring a radio capable of operating on FRS/GMRS frequenciesA simple speaker/mic is preferable to voice activated systems.

Field sessions run from 9am-5pm. Instructors will communicate specific plans prior to and throughout the class. Rescue dates and approximate locations are the following:

  • Jan 8th at Mt Rose Meadows (AKA Tahoe Meadows), with mandatory online session 7pm-9pm on Jan 7th. Opens for registration on Nov 29th at 8am.
  • Jan 9th at Mt Rose Meadows (AKA Tahoe Meadows), with mandatory online session 7pm-9pm on Jan 7th. Opens for registration on Nov 29th at 8am.
  • Jan 15th at Mt Rose Meadows (AKA Tahoe Meadows), with mandatory online session 7pm-9pm on Jan 14th. Opens for registration on Dec 6th at 8am.
  • Jan 16th at Mt Rose Meadows (AKA Tahoe Meadows), with mandatory online session 7pm-9pm on Jan 14th. Opens for registration on Dec 6th at 8am.

Level 2 Classes

These classes present advanced concepts of recreational avalanche risk management for motorized users. Level 2 classes are free, thanks to funding from the California Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Commission. For details on Level 2 classes, please download the syllabus at the bottom of this page and read it completely. Participants must:

  • Take a Level 1 and Rescue class prior to attending. The Level 1 class should have been taken prior to the 2021/22 season. The Rescue class can be taken just prior to the Level 2, and 2022 SAC Rescue classes are scheduled with this in mind. Previous classes don't need to be motorized-specific. Check here for regional providers who offer non-motorized classes.
  • Be an advanced rider - comfortable side-hilling to both sides while making adjustments around obstacles, and able to self-extricate from basic stucks. Riding ability is much more important on the Level 2 compared to Level 1 and Rescue classes - please do not overestimate your riding ability.
  • Bring a functioning beacon, shovel, and probe. Beacons should be modern three-antennae, shovels should be made specifically for avalanche rescue, and probes should be 270cm or longer. Avalanche gear must be worn/carried on self, and not in tunnel bag. An extra shovel in tunnel bag is recommended.
  • Wear a DOT or similarly approved helmet and weather-appropriate gear.
  • Ride a reliable, well maintained snowmobile/snowbike, capable of off-trail travel. Machines must be registered with visible registration markings. Spare belts and repair kits are strongly recommended. Poorly maintained machines and/or machines not intended for off-trail travel may jeopardize the experience of others.
  • Read the required materials and apply the Daily Flow and Alerts stickers to machines for easy reference while riding
  • Bring a radio capable of operating on FRS/GMRS frequenciesA simple speaker/mic is preferable to voice activated systems.

Classes run each day from 9am-5pm. Instructors will communicate specific plans prior to and throughout the class. Level 2 dates and approximate locations are the following:

  • Jan 21,22,23 in South Lake Tahoe (field sessions likely out of Blue Lakes, Ebbetts Pass, or Tragedy Springs). Opens for registration on Dec 13th at 8am.
  • Jan 28,29,30 in Truckee (field sessions likely out of Little Truckee Summit). Opens for registration on Dec 20th at 8am.

Questions 

Please contact Travis Feist, SAC's education coordinator, with any questions.