Motorized Level 1

2019 Course Dates, Locations, and Registration Info
All 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 this 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. Follow the link at the bottom of this page to the specific class you're interested in, where you'll be prompted to enter your information and upload your completed documents. Note the following dates and times that classes open for registration:

  • Jan 25, 26, 27 in Truckee (opens for registration at 8am on Dec 17th)
  • Feb 1, 2, 3 in Truckee (opens for registration at 8am on Dec 24th)
  • Feb 22, 23, 24 in South Lake Tahoe (opens for registration at 8am on Jan 14th)
  • Mar 1, 2, 3 in South Lake Tahoe (opens for registration at 8am on Jan 21st)
  • Mar 8, 9, 10 in South Lake Tahoe (opens for registration at 8am on Jan 28th)

Course Summary
This 24 hour course provides an introduction to 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 course follows the guidelines for Recreational Level I Avalanche Training as established by the American Avalanche Association.

8am-5pm Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The first two days are likely to begin indoors and transition into the field by mid to late morning. The third day is likely to be 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.
  • Bring a functioning beacon, shovel, and probe. Essential 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 insured and 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 will be emailed, and paper copy provided on the first day of class.
  • Handouts as provided.

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.

Attendance and participation in the full class is mandatory.

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