NSP has been providing avalanche education to ski patrollers and other search and rescue personnel since 1957, making it the oldest and most experienced avalanche education association for rescue professionals in the U.S. NSP offers avalanche education for general recreationists as well.  All NSP avalanche courses

  • meet or exceed curriculum recommendations established for each course by the American Avalanche Association
  • are frequently updated to incorporate the latest avalanche research and skills
  • are taught by NSP-certified avalanche instructors who undergo rigorous training and evaluation of technical knowledge and teaching proficiency

The National Ski Patrol Level 1 course has been accepted by the American Avalanche Association (A3) as a prerequisite for the Professional Track, as noted here.  See the states in which this course is offered below along with the division supervisor contact for more information about scheduling and other requirements.

Select Avalanche Courses Available to the Public

If you are interested in participating in a National Ski Patrol Avalanche course as a non-member, please contact the division supervisor listed below for more information.  (Use the map to the right to determine which geographic division or divisions are most relevant for you.) You can also search the Non-member course schedule here.

Barry Bruno, raven@gci.net
Alaska Division, courses offered in Alaska

NSP regional map

Chuck Boyd, chucknspavy@gmail
Eastern Division, courses offered in Maine, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont

Keith Church, keith_church@hotmail.com
Far West Division, courses offered in Arizona, California, Nevada

Craig Olsen, heli-ski@diamonpeaks.com
Intermountain Division, courses offered in Idaho, Utah, Wyoming

Jay Ellingwood, jellingwood@yahoo.com
International Division

Steve Porcella, sfporcella@gmail.com
Northern Division, courses offered in Montana

Brad Acker, ackerbrad@hotmail.com
Pacific Northwest Division, courses offered in Idaho, Oregon, Washington

Brian Ballard, smockteleheli@gmail.com
Rocky Mountain Division, courses offered in Colorado, New Mexico, Wyoming

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.