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Photo: Sean Zimmerman-Wall

PRO 1

The PRO 1 is a multi-faceted course designed for several audiences.

  • Entry level professionals who are seeking training and certification for employment in avalanche programs at ski area, transportation, heli, snowcat and ski tour guiding, alpine and expedition guiding, snowshoe guiding, snowmobile guiding, and public forecasting operations.
  • Working professionals who want to better understand current industry standards and best practices as part of continued career development.

The PRO 1 covers topics essential to the workplace including identifying and characterizing avalanche terrain, understanding how avalanches form and release, collecting and analyzing weather, snow, and avalanche data, and communicating hazard and risk factors. PRO 1 students conduct daily operational forecast meetings, apply effective communication strategies, and debrief field observations and decisions. The course includes pre-course reading, class presentations and field exercises, and daily travel near or in avalanche terrain.

Successful students receive a PRO 1 certificate that is a national standard audited by the American Avalanche Association (A3). The evaluation criteria is taught and coached by the instructors and then evaluated during field exercises, mock operational exercises, and a written exam. The criteria applies guidelines established by the A3 publication, Snow, Weather and Avalanches: Observational Guidelines for Avalanche Programs in the United States (SWAG ed. 2016). Single-rescuer avalanche response, route selection, and group management in avalanche terrain is also taught and evaluated.