We are all passionate about skiing and snowboarding, especially the sensation of floating down a powder-covered mountainside. But when you leave groomed slopes to drop your skis into the powder, hike into the backcountry or go out a backcountry gate, you are entering a world where education, equipment and proper decision-making can literally make the difference between life and death.
There are a wealth of educational tools for skiers and snowboarders through a variety of providers. Education ranges from simple but informative online programs like Know Before You Go. BRASS Avalanche’s own BRASS 101 is an excellent way for competition clubs, schools and academies to get a basic introduction in 90 minutes. To really gain the proper education, taking an on-snow course from a certified provider, such as AIARE, is essential.
Members of U.S. Ski & Snowboard can take advantage of the organization’s online learning systems, with completion of online courses required for all members 18 and older, as well as for coaches as a part of Level 100 certification.
Your personal safety, and that of others in the backcountry with you, is contingent on your avalanche safety education, your equipment and your decision-making.
BRASS 101 is an introductory avalanche safety awareness program presented by the BRASS Avalanche Safety Foundation. It’s led by AIARE avalanche instructor Lindsay Mann, utilizing core components of the popular Know Before You Go program. The BRASS 101 Mid-Season Refresher adds in vital current elements such seasonal snowpack history and a deeper dive into current conditions and forecasts.
Know Before You Go is a free avalanche awareness program. Not much science, no warnings to stay out of the mountains, no formulas to memorize. In 1 hour, you will see the destructive power of avalanches, understand when and why they happen, and how you can have fun in the mountains and avoid avalanches.
The American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education (AIARE) develops and disseminates research-based avalanche curriculum to over 100 providers in the US, South America, Europe and Asia. Its on-snow curriculum including AIARE 1, AIARE Avalanche Rescue and AIARE 2 are vital tools for recreational skiers and snowboarders. See the links below for a list of education providers and classes.
The American Avalanche Association provides avalanche safety curriculum guidelines to educational providers. Its website avalanche.org provides skiers and snowboarders with direct links to avalanche forecast information across the country, as well as access to information on avalanche safety education.
U.S. Ski & Snowboard, in concert with BRASS Avalanche and the Utah Avalanche Center, has developed an online learning system to provide its members with basic introductory information on avalanche safety. A basic course is required for all members 18 and older. A more detailed curriculum is required for coaches as a part of Level 100 certification.
BRASS 101 is the BRASS Avalanche Safety Foundation’s own program that combines components of leading educational programs with specific content applicable to ski and snowboard clubs and acadamies. It is provided free by BRASS Avalanche by certified presenters. A hallmark of BRASS 101 is a showing of the film Off-Piste.
- Free 90-minute online webinar
- Presented by certified avalanche safety instructor
- Showing of acclaimed BRASS film Off Piste
- Introduction to avalanche safety featuring Know Before You Go content
- Q&A with instructor
Interested in organizing a BRASS 101 presentation for your club? Contact BRASS Avalanche for more information.