National Ski Patrol is a membership-based nonprofit that has been providing avalanche education to ski patrollers and other search and rescue personnel since 1957, making it one of the oldest and most experienced avalanche education associations in North America. NSP offers avalanche education for all backcountry enthusiasts, from the first-time recreationalist to search and rescue professionals.
National Ski Patrol proudly supports the American Avalanche Association’s (A3) dedication to avalanche research and education. The NSP Level 1 course has been accredited by A3 and counts as a prerequisite for the Professional Track.
Avalanche Courses Available to the Public
If you are interested in participating in a National Ski Patrol Avalanche course as a non-member, search the Non-member course schedule here, by searching for “avalanche” in the Course Title Contains field.
National Ski Patrol strives to provide as many courses as possible to the public, but these often fill quickly. We will keep this page as updated as possible. Please do check back for more class availability.
If you are unable to find a course, click here to view course providers on the American Avalanche Association website.
Find Avalanche Information
Most regions where avalanches are an issue have dedicated avalanche information centers. These organizations provide vital details on snowpack, mountain weather, and avalanche observations that are crucial for planning a backcountry excursion. Remember, if there’s enough snow to ride, there’s enough snow to slide. Find your local avalanche information center by selecting your region on the map at avalanche.org.
Know Before You Go Program
This program, in collaboration with the Utah Avalanche Center, Friends of CAIC, and RECCO, is designed to increase basic avalanche awareness in the skiing public by stressing five steps people should take before they enter avalanche-prone terrain.
Special thanks to:
Brad Acker (Northwest), Brian Ballard (Rocky Mountain), Chuck Boyd (Eastern), Barry Bruno (Alaska), Ed Carlson (Avalanche Program Director), Keith Church (Far West), Craig Olsen (Intermountain), & Steve Porcella (Northern)