Snow Machine Education

Snowmachiners Modules 


Module 1 ~ Avalanche Basics, Rescue & Human Factor

This module includes an introducitiion to avalanche basics touching on terrain, snowpack and weather. It focuses on companion rescue and understanding the human factors that contribute to decision making.

Module 2 ~ Terrain & Observations

This module is focused on recognizing avalanche terrain and making snowpack and weather observations. Judging stability and decision making will be emphasized.

Module 3 ~ Decision Making ~ Traveling Through Terrain

This module builds on the previous two as an opportunity to put it all together.  Group decision making tools and route finding in avalanche terrain will be the focus.  Rescue will be revisited as well as snowpack and weather observation.



Cost per Module:  $155.00 Per Person per module

Course Duration: 1 Day per module

Tuition Includes: Instruction, and instructional handouts.

Tuition Does Not Include: Round trip transportation to and from the class-site, appropriate snowmachine and associated gear/equipment, “Snow Sense” by Fesler & Fredston, food for the duration of the course, all personal gear, helmet, and clothing (see the Equipment List for more information).

Recommended Reading: “Snow Sense” by Jill Fredston & Doug Fesler



Together these three modules offer important information and hands on practice needed for safe motorized recreation in the Alaskan Backcountry.  Successful completion of these three modules awards the student a Level 1 Avalanche certificate of completion.

To receive a Level 1 certificate the modules must be completed in order and in two consecutive seasons or less.

Morning instruction takes place in a classroom near the designated field location. Afternoon instruction practices introduced concepts while riding in the mountains.

Custom Course Dates also available ~ Call for details!



Read “Snow Sense” by Fredston & Fesler prior to the course start date. Those who thoroughly study their pre-course reading before the workshop can expect to absorb more during the course. Participants must be able to ride in variable terrain and should be prepared to remain outdoors in foul weather all day. We also recommend that you are familiar with the current avalanche forecast at  In the weeks prior to the course get out and travel a bit with the machine you will be using for the course.



The courses are scheduled at one of the following locations: Hatcher Pass, Twentymile, Turnagain Pass, or Johnson Pass.  Please check the schedule to see dates/locations.  All participants will be notified by email one week prior to the start of the course as to the exact parking/trailhead meeting spot.  Please be prepared to spend the duration of the course outside and in all types of weather.



 We encourage participants from Anchorage to allow plenty of time to commute to the course location. If you prefer not to commute seek out a place to stay in the Hatcher Pass area or in Girdwood with friends or use one of the following resourses for housing:  

Alyeska Hostel: An economical choice with bunks, and showers available for a reasonable fee. Call 907-783-2222 for more information or to make reservations.

Alyeska Prince Hotel: 907-754-2111 or Alyeska Accommodations: 907-783-2000 (B&B's, Condos, Houses).


Participants are responsible for all of their food and water for the duration of the course. Lunches will be in the field so plan your menu accordingly.



Participants must be Good to Expert riders.  Do not over estimate your ability. This is not a course to learn how to snowmachine.

Plan to bring all the necessary clothing and equipment you require to stay outside all day in foul weather while traveling through variable terrain and conditions. 

Snowmachine Education Brochure