406-920-2808 & 866-535 (OWLS) 6957 The Boars Head Charlottesville, Virginia erik.henyon@owlsinc.com

Open Daily

Year Round


Avalanche I




A student that successfully completes a course developed using the following guidelines should be able to: identify avalanche terrain; identify basic grain types, weak layers and strong layers; perform field tests to determine snow pack stability/instability; recognize weather and terrain factors contributing to instability; perform rescue through fast and efficient transceiver use; and apply safe-travel techniques.




There are no prerequisites for the Level I Avalanche course. Some background reading and an avalanche awareness class may help you prepare for a Level I Avalanche course, but they are not necessary. A general level of fitness and equipment appropriate for the winter outdoors and local terrain are clearly necessary. Instructors should be able to provide a list of personal equipment necessary for the course.


Avalanche II




A student that successfully completes our course set to the American Avalanche Association Guidelines should:


  • * Understand variability and complexity of avalanche terrain
  • * Identify grain types and the basic physical processes leading to them
  • * Perform and interpret common stability tests
  • * Apply objective decision making methods while traveling through avalanche terrain.


Students will learn Rutschblock, Tap, and other shear tests, ski cutting, terrain analysis, route finding, decision-making, anchors, survival, and rescue. Participants must have successfully completed Phase I and be able to travel efficiently on skis and/or snowboard. If there is sufficient interest, a snowmobile-oriented session will be offered.




Everyone enrolling in a Level II Avalanche course should have completed a Level I Avalanche course. The previous course work should include a full 2- or 3- day Level I course. An evening or 1-day awareness class is not adequate. Inadequate preparation will reduce the effectiveness of the Level II course in furthering your avalanche education. In addition, students not adequately prepared for a Level II course reduce the ability of other students to learn because instructors must bring them up to speed. Finally, a student that has not had a course in recent years should consider a Level I course as a refresher before taking a Level II course.

3 & 4 Days Includes Exam!

18 and over

Tuition Avalanche I: $325.00

Tuition Avalanche II: $485.00

Tuition Both: $750.00

AVA I Call for Dates
AVA I & II Call for Dates

Call for a list of Universities (Optional)

Sawtooth National Forest, Idaho

Equipment List (pdf)