The Eastern Division Avalanche Program’s goal is to provide premier avalanche safety and rescue education, specifically designed for the needs of patrollers, mountain search and rescue teams, and snow recreation stakeholders. To achieve this goal, the program provides distinct curricula appropriate to the needs of our stakeholders based on specific geographical conditions. The division’s course fieldwork requires experiencing local avalanche terrain. Bellow are the primary courses offered around Eastern Division.The first few can often be found as Regional offerings. For example, Level 1 Avalanche Module 1 is taught as a classroom course without fieldwork in avalanche terrain, because Senior Candidates can use it to accumulate electives for achieving Senior Patroller. The courses provided by the division’s Avalanche Program are summarized below.
The Eastern Division Avalanche Awareness course is a public safety outreach presentation for winter recreationists who have a casual interest in avalanche safety. The course can be taught by Region Avalanche Instructors as well as by Division Staff. The course is designed to exposes people to the nature of avalanche hazards and what should be learned before venturing into avalanche terrain. It encourages students to take a higher level avalanche safety and rescue course that requires fildwork in avalanche terrain to ahure and build skills. The course is also available as an online course available through the NSP website. This is meant as a community outreach course for youth groups, and ski industry partners. NSP has partnered with the Friends of the Utah Avalanche Center and it incorporates their “Know Before You Go” program.
Time commitment: flexible, 30-90 minutes
Level 1 Avalanche Module 1 — Avalanche Foundations
Level 1 Avalanche Module 1 provides the classroom component of a Level 1 avalanche course. It introduces fundamental concepts and principles of avalanche hazard, safety, and rescue, but it does not include skill development in the field.
By itself, the module qualifies as an introductory-level course that satisfies NSP senior elective requirements in those divisions where avalanche hazard is negligible and providing Module 2 is impractical if not impossible due to lack of representative terrain and snowpack. It does not meet full Level 1 course standards and does not qualify as a prerequisite for enrollment in a Level 2 avalanche course.
Time commitment: minimum of 8 hours of classroom instruction
Grading: Pass/Incomplete/Fail based on written exam
Level 1 Avalanche Module 2 — Avalanche Safety and Rescue Skills
Level 1 Avalanche Module 2 — Avalanche Safety and Rescue Skills provides the field component of a Level 1 avalanche course. This module when combined with Level 1 Avalanche Module 1, completes a full Level 1 course that meets guidelines established by the American Avalanche Association (AAA).
It covers basic avalanche problem recognition, including weather snowpack and terrain observation and evaluation; route selection, decision making, survival, self-rescue and small group rescue methods.
Prerequisites: Level 1 Avalanche Module 1 within the previous three years (a pretest may be required); ability to travel in steep, ungroomed, snow-covered terrain, under adverse weather conditions
Time commitment: minimum of 16 hours of field instruction and practice
Grading: Pass/Incomplete/Fail based on evaluation of field skills
Level 1 Avalanche Module 3 — Organized Avalanche Rescue
Level 1 Avalanche Module 3 — Organized Avalanche Rescue is a specially designed curriculum to help prepare ski patrollers and other SAR personnel for organized avalanche rescue responsibilities. It introduces organized rescue principles and skills, management structure, special decision-making problems and strategies. It is considered to be the minimum level of rescue education for these personnel.
This module is strongly recommended for all patrollers who may patrol or recreate at areas that have known avalanche hazard. Some divisions require this module as a requirement for senior classification. Some area patrols require this level of avalanche education as a condition of membership.
Prerequisite: NSP Level 1 Avalanche Modules 1 and 2, or an equivalent full Level 1 avalanche course or refresher within the previous three years; FEMA IS-700(b) course certification
Time commitment: minimum of 8 hours of instruction, at least 60% in the field
Grading: Pass/Incomplete/Fail based on final written exam and field skill evaluations
Level 1 Avalanche Module 4 — Avalanche Fundamentals Refresher
Level 1 Avalanche Module 4 — Avalanche Fundamentals Refresher is a one-day module designed to upgrade and refresh Modules 1 and 2 knowledge and skills. It includes both classroom and field components.
Prerequisite: Prior completion of NSP Level 1 Module 2 or any full Level 1 avalanche course for recreationists that meets AAA curriculum guidelines.
Time Commitment: minimum of 8 hours of instruction, at least 60% in the field.
Grading: Pass/Incomplete/Fail based on written exam and evaluation of field skills.
Level 1 Avalanche Module 5 — Avalanche for Rescue Personnel Refresher
Level 1 Avalanche Module 5 — Avalanche for Rescue Personnel Refresher is a half-day refresher designed to upgrade and refresh Module 3 organized avalanche rescue skills.
Prerequisite: prior completion of Level 1 Avalanche Module 3
Time commitment: minimum of 4 hours of instruction, at least 60% in the field
Grading: Pass/Incomplete/Fail based on written exam and evaluation of field skills