These avalanche course offerings are designed specifically for recreational skiers and riders who are hungry to learn how to find the best snow, while avoiding avalanches. If you are interested in developing and refining your avalanche safety and backcountry traveling skills, then boom baby, you're in the right place.
Do You Desire To:
- Ski bigger lines deep in the backcountry?
- Identify non-avalanche terrain for high hazard and low stress days?
- Learn modern and practical skills to make informed decision in the backcountry?
- Identify what things can kill you, and minimize hazard exposure to fit your risk tolerance?
- Be a vital asset to your friends in terms of picking quality lines, and making solid decisions?
- Get ahead of the masses by learning from ski professionals?
If Yes, Then You Need These Skills:
- Accurately digest the daily avalanche forecast and know where to ski on a given day.
- Acquire the knowledge to identify safe and dangerous backcountry terrain.
- Hold space for quality discussions with partners, so everyone can have more fun.
- Use the Internet to quickly and easily create backcountry tour routes for your phone.
- Understand how to conduct and interpret key snow pit stability tests.
- Understand how and when to conduct easier and faster non-pit stability tests.
- Ability to learn from professional skiers: several pros share personal "near miss" stories.
3 Tiers To Pick From
Tier 1: Self-Paced Digital Avalanche Course
Watch and learn on your schedule. This is a great resource to continue to refine and upgrade your skills. Over the past three years over 1000 people have enrolled and totally love the style of instruction, and the ability to review the videos annually with no additional cost. As always, you will be able to ask Mark Smiley direct questions as you watch each video lesson.
Tier 2: MTN Sense Digital Avalanche Certification Course
Remote digital course. Same awesome video lessons as Tier 1, spaced over fixed dates, with increased engagement and accountability with Mark Smiley and others. Each week (4 weeks total) you will watch 2 hours of video lessons at your convenience, complete a quick and super helpful homework assignment (no really, these assignments will help your future self). A live weekly 'office hour' group Zoom call with Mark Smiley is optional. A private FB Group is another point of connection, questions, beta sharing, and ski partner finding. This Tier 2 fosters more accountability, more connection, more feedback, and more engagement. You will be required to pass a final digital exam to earn the MTN Sense Digital Avalanche Certification.
Tier 3: MTN Sense Avalanche Certification Course
This is Tier 2 + four in-person guided field days. After completing the digital avalanche certification (Tier 2), you will learn even more while ski touring day with an IFMGA Mountain Guide in one of several locations around the world. Limited spots available. Scroll down for availability.
Schedule of optional live zoom calls (MST Time Zone) for Tier 2 and Tier 3 students:
Cohort A: Enroll Sept 27- Oct 5
-Sundays 7PM: Oct 9, 16, 23, & 30
Cohort B: Enroll Oct 6-17
-Mondays 7PM: Oct 24 & 31, Nov 7 & 14
Cohort C: Enroll Oct 18-31
-Mondays 9AM: Nov 7, 14, 21, 28
Cohort D: Enroll Nov 1-16
-Sundays 7PM: Nov 20 & 27, Dec 4 & 11
Those that enroll today will automatically be grouped with Cohort A.
You can enroll today be moved to cohort B, C, or D, just ask Mark.
BOOK THESE FIELD DAYS:
1. Enroll in TIER 3 for $1349. $449 will be collected today, which includes
a $100 non-refundable deposit to hold your spot, and the Tier 2 tuition ($349).
2. After enrolling, fill out the Google forms application you receive to select your Mountain Guide.
3. Your Mountain Guide will contact you with more details about your trip.
4. The guide will give you the exact remaining balance, which you pay them directly. (~$900). Lodging, travel, food,
park fees, tipping, etc are additional. Details will be provided by the Mountain Guide.
5. Pass TIER 2 course and earn your MTN Sense Digital Avalanche Certification.
6. Join four other stoked people (not a group of 12 people like most other courses) for four days in the field.
Apply your knowledge with direct feedback from a fully certified Mountain Guide.
***There is a $75 fee if you need to change locations.
Start1 // Quickly Identify Avalanche Terrain (5:19)
Start1+ // Tech Tools to Measure Slope Angle (4:57)
Start2 // Perform Self & Team Rescue (4:06)
Start2+ // Shovel Beacon Probe Pack...Gear Talk (11:06)
Start3 // Understand the Current Conditions (6:02)
Start3+ // Understand the Avalanche Forecast Bulletin (18:18)
Start4 // String Together A Safe Ascent & Descent Path (8:06)
Start4+ // The Only Thing Truly In Your Control, Terrain (3:51)
Start5 // Group Management (6:44)
PreviewPartner Assessment Belt Ranking Rubric
StartQuiz: Identify Avalanche Terrain
StartIntro: 9 Avalanche Problems (0:54)
StartLoose Wet & Loose Dry: No Big Deal, Except When They Are (8:55)
StartStorm Slab Avalanches: Why Ski Patroller's Get To Throw Bombs (13:44)
StartWind Slab Avalanches: This Problem Blows (8:13)
StartPersistent Slab Avalanche: The Funhog House Guest
StartDeep Persistent Slab Avalanche: The Sleeping Dragon (14:01)
PreviewCornices: A Pissed Off Rattlesnake (13:28)
StartWet Slab Avalanches: The Fickle Trickle (1:11)
StartGlide Avalanches: Avoid The Brown Frown (1:05)
StartPotentially Lethal Non-Avalanche Hazards (2:00)
StartVince Anderson Shares A "Near Miss" (5:54)
Mark Smiley's passion for adventure has taken him around the world on more than 30 expeditions to places like China, Peru, Ecuador, Africa, Chile, Argentina, Across Europe, Canada, and Alaska.
He and his wife, Janelle, are the only people that have attempted to climb all 50 Classic Climbs of North America (48 successfully). Additionally, he was part of a team to set a world record skiing across the entire Alps Mountain Range (1100 miles and 292,000 vertical feet) in a mere 36 days.
His teaching style is fun, mellow and easy to understand. As an IFMGA Certified Mountain Guide, Mark is among the world's elite guides to reach this status. More important than this certification, is his candid style of conveying to you the best techniques that will help you the most. Through this course you will tap into his expertise and knowledge for real-world learning.
Instagram feed @smileysproject
"Educating ourselves about avalanches is critical to staying alive in avalanche terrain. After completing this course, you will have the knowledge to make better decisions while in the backcountry. This course is a tool, one of many, you will use on your journey to become an expert. Never stop learning."
Victor Caldua was a friend and mountain guide and father who died in an avalanche while climbing Alpamayo, Peru. He left behind a wonderful wife, Alicia, and two amazing and talented daughters, Vanessa and Estefani. 10% of the profit from this course will be gifted to Victor's family for their education expenses. Vanesse wants to be an engineer and Estefani wants to be a mountain guide.
We committed to supporting their needs indefinitely. As more people enroll, their education prospects increase.
Get started now!
Frequently Asked Questions
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