Teton Valley Backcountry Avalanche Training

Jackson, Wyoming

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If you’re comfortable skiing or snowboarding at the resort and are hungry for a new challenge, this is the course for you. Learn about snow science and ride fresh powder. Dig snow pits and practice your turns. Then, head into the backcountry to put your new skills into action. On this trip, you’ll focus on developing both your touring skills and leadership skills. By the end, you’ll earn the NOLS Level I Avalanche Training certificate endorsed by the American Avalanche Association—and head to the backcountry for more adventures. During the day, your instructors will talk you through snow assessment and risk management. Then, you’ll put this new knowledge into practice as you explore the backcountry and learn how to find efficient routes through the mountains. Learning leadership skills like communication and tolerance for adversity through hands-on experiences will help you discover and develop your own leadership style. While you’re in the mountains, you’ll sleep in yurts with wood-burning stoves, recapping what you learned that day and preparing for the next day’s adventures. Your instructors will emphasize risk management and leadership, real skills that will help you make appropriate decisions in the backcountry. You already love being outside in winter—now, prepare yourself with the skills to explore even further.


Duration: 7 Days
Starts in: Driggs, Idaho
Ends in: Driggs, Idaho
Group Size: 8-12
Difficulty: 3/5

Operated by:


The leader in wilderness education since 1965. Learn more at www.nols.edu.

Additional Information

NOLS Teton Valley:

Nestled on the Idaho side of the Tetons, and near Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks, our campus is your gateway to some of the best skiing, backpacking, and paddling in the lower 48. NOLS Teton Valley operates year-round and depending on the season, you might hike along the Continental Divide, paddle whitewater rapids, or backcountry ski in the snow-covered Rockies. In the summer and early fall, backpacking courses travel through the meadows of wildflowers in the mountains of western Wyoming, southern Montana, and eastern Idaho. During the warmer months, you can paddle the Salmon River through one of the West’s largest wilderness areas—the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness—and develop your whitewater skills. When the snow starts to fall, you can take a backcountry ski or snowboarding course, skiing untouched powder and learning the art of winter camping. Before you set off into the backcountry, you’ll dive into avalanche education, snow science—and in some cases, ski lessons at a local resort. Leaving the crowds and lifts behind, you’ll enjoy the quiet, amazing snow, and sense of accomplishment from hard work well done. No matter what time of year you arrive, you can look forward to an unforgettable adventure in the beautiful, rugged landscapes of the West.

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