Motorized Level 1 and Level 2 Avalanche Risk Management

2021 Level 1 and Level 2 Class Dates, Locations, and Registration Info (scroll down for Avalanche Rescue classes)
Level 1 and Level 2 classes are free to the public, thanks to a grant from the California Department of Parks and Recreation, Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Division (OHMVR Division). Please read all of the information on this page thoroughly before registering. Registration for each class will begin on the date specified, and no spaces can be reserved prior to that time. There is a maximum enrollment of 10 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 - Jan 12, 13, 14 in Truckee (agency-specific class for USFS, Sheriffs, SAR, etc. Contact for more info - see link at bottom of page)
  • Level 2 - Jan 25, 26, 27 in Truckee (opens for registration at 8am on Dec 14th)
  • Level 2 - Jan 29, 30, 31 in South Lake Tahoe (opens for registration at 8am on Dec 21st)
  • Level 1 - Feb 5, 6, 7 in South Lake Tahoe (opens for registration at 8am on Dec 28th)
  • Level 1 - Feb 9, 10, 11 in South Lake Tahoe (opens for registration at 8am on Jan 4th)
  • Level 1 - Feb 19, 20, 21 in South Lake Tahoe (opens for registration at 8am on Jan 11th)
  • Level 1 - Feb 26, 27, 28 in Truckee (opens for registration at 8am on Jan 18th)

Level 1 Course Summary
This 24 hour class provides an introduction to recreational avalanche risk management for motorized users. Learning will occur through a mix of classroom and field practice, with an emphasis on field practice whenever possible. This class follows the guidelines for Recreational Level I Avalanche Training as established by the American Avalanche Association.

Level 2 Course Summary
This 24 hour class presents advanced concepts of recreational avalanche risk management for motorized users. Learning will occur through a mix of classroom and field practice, with an emphasis on field practice whenever possible. This class follows the guidelines for Recreational Level 2 Avalanche Training as established by the American Avalanche Association.

Schedule
8am-5pm each day of the class. SAC will follow current Covid-19 recommendations, which may result in less class time and more field time compared to "normal," and/or shifting classroom sessions to "virtual." Instructors will communicate specific plans prior to and throughout the class.

Course Requirements
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. Level 2 students should be advanced riders - comfortable side-hilling to both sides while making adjustments around obstacles, and able to self-extricate from basic stucks.
  • 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 long and strong (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 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 provided text and complete assigned readings.
  • Bring a radio capable of operating on FRS/GMRS frequencies.
  • Level 2 students must take a Level 1 and Rescue class prior to attending. Level 1 classes should have been taken prior to the 2020/21 season. Neither of these classes needs to be motorized-specific. Check here for regional providers who offer non-motorized classes.

Required Text and Materials:

  • The SAC Daily Flow, by the Sierra Avalanche Center. A digital copy of this book is available under the "Education" tab at the top of this page, and a paper copy will be provided on the first day of class. Many regional powersports dealers have free paper copies available.
  • Handouts as provided.

Level 1 Learning Outcomes
The successful student will be able to:

  • Recognize common themes in general risk management systems.
  • Demonstrate familiarity with rescue gear, including completion of a simple, untimed companion rescue scenario.
  • Consider the qualities of riding partners as they relate to risk; including both avalanche and non-avalanche risk.
  • Access the SAC advisory to anticipate avalanche conditions. Describe basic relationships between weather, snowpack, and avalanches. 
  • Based upon riding partners and anticipated conditons, create safety margins using terrain and/or timing.
  • Confirm details with riding partners and use a written plan as a group contract.
  • Manage the riding group using communication techniques and spotting/spacing strategies for both non-avalanche and avalanche terrain.
  • Use the SAC Conditions and Terrain checklists to maintain awareness of conditions and terrain while riding.
  • Recognize the benefits of digging below the snow surface for increased awareness of the day’s conditions, and for contributing to lifelong learning.
  • Participate in group discussions that link observed conditions to terrain use.
  • Encourage partners to learn from each day by using daily debriefs.
  • Submit observations to SAC using non-technical language and/or images and videos.

Level 2 Learning Outcomes coming soon

Attendance
Attendance and participation in the full class is mandatory.

Motorized Avalanche Rescue

2021 Avalanche Rescue Class Dates, Locations, and Registration Info
Rescue classes are free to the public, pending funding. Please read all of the information on this page thoroughly before registering. Registration for each class will begin on the date specified, and no spaces can be reserved prior to that time. There is a maximum enrollment of 10 people per class. 

To register, please download and complete the liability release 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 (Friday night sessions may be "virtual" due to Covid-19):

  • Friday Jan 15th 7-9:30pm and either Saturday Jan 16th or Sunday Jan 17th, in Incline Village. Classes will be held both days, but please only register for one (registration info pending funding).
  • Friday Jan 22nd 7-9:30pm and either Saturday Jan 23rd or Sunday Jan 24th, in Incline Village. Classes will be held both days, but please only register for one (registration info pending funding).

Course Summary
This 1.5 day class provides avalanche rescue practice for motorized users. Learning will occur through a mix of classroom and field practice, with an emphasis on field practice. Because avalanche avoidance skills should be prioritized over avalanche rescue skills, it is strongly recommended that only graduates of a Level 1 register for this class (the Level 1 can be motorized or non-motorized). This class follows the guidelines for Avalanche Rescue as established by the American Avalanche Association.

Schedule
7pm-9:30pm Friday, followed by 8am-5pm either Saturday or Sunday, depending on which class you register for. Please only register for one class, either Saturday or Sunday. Both the Saturday and Sunday classes will meet together on Friday night for an indoor classroom session, or a "virtual" session if Covid-19 recommendations suggest this. Saturday and Sunday sessions will occur entirely in the field. Instructors will communicate specific plans prior to and throughout the class.

Course Requirements
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 long and strong (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 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.
  • Read the provided text and complete assigned readings.
  • Bring a radio capable of operating on FRS/GMRS frequencies.

Required Text and Materials:

  • The SAC Daily Flow, by the Sierra Avalanche Center. A digital copy of this book is available under the "Education" tab at the top of this page, and a paper copy will be provided on the first day of class. Many regional powersports dealers have free paper copies available.
  • Handouts as provided.

Rescue Learning Outcomes
The successful student will be able to:

  • Recognize that companion rescue skills are necessary for travel in avalanche terrain.
  • Apply travel protocols as taught on Level 1 classes, including trailhead checks.
  • Demonstrate familiarity with rescue gear.
  • Improve skills by completing companion rescue scenarios.
  • Facilitate continued companion rescue practice with riding partners.
  • Describe medical and traumatic problems associated with avalanche accidents.
  • Plan for a self evacuation and/or transition to an evacuation led by a SAR team.
  • Assist with an organized rescue led by a SAR team.

Attendance
Attendance and participation in the full class is mandatory, including the Friday night classroom session.

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