Learn about Avalanche Safety

At Backcountry Access we pride ourselves in manufacturing the best snow safety equipment on the planet. But the one piece of equipment we don’t manufacture is knowledge. It’s critical that all of our customers realize that the best way to stay safe in the backcountry is through education. Understanding terrain, weather, snowpack and how to avoid avalanches is your ticket to a long life of backcountry enjoyment. We encourage you to pursue avalanche education as vigorously as you pursue your passion for backcountry sports.

BCA Snow Safety Video Series:

Companion Rescue

Our education series on how to perform an avalanche rescue if your companion is buried.


Beacon Searching

*Right click here and select “Save Link As” or “Save Target As” to download

Strategic Probing

Strategic Shoveling

*Right click here and select “Save Link As” or “Save Target As” to download

Prevention Series

We believe in proactive approaches to avalanche safety: don’t get caught in the first place. In this series we explore what you can do to prepare for your tour and maximize your safety. We also take a close look at specific techniques particularly suited to snowmobiling.

Packing your Pack

Tour Planning




Safety Handouts

Click to download

Avalanche Awareness PDF

Find an Avalanche Educator

Name City State Phone
Alaska Avalanche School Anchorage AK (907) 345-0878
Southeast Alaska Avalanche Ctr. Juneau AK (907) 586-5699
North America Outdoor Institute Valdez AK (907) 376-2898
Snow Dynamics Wasilla AK (907) 775-2600
Sierra Wilderness Seminars Arcata CA (707) 822-8066
Mountain Adventure Seminars Bear Valley CA (800) 362-5462
Backcountry Avalanche Awarenes (BAART) Big Lake CA (907) 892-7073
Bardini Foundation, Inc Bishop CA (760) 872-4413
Sierra Mountain Center Bishop CA (760) 873-8526
Sierra Mountaineering International Bishop CA (760) 872-4929
Sierra Mountain Guides June Lake CA (760) 648-1122
Kirkwood Mountain Resort Kirkwood CA (209) 258-7360
So Cal Snow Avalanche Center Los Angeles CA info@socalsnow.org
Rock Creek Lodge Mammoth CA (760) 935-4170
Shasta Mountain Guides Mount Shasta CA (530) 926-3117
Alpine Skills International Norden CA (530) 426-9108
Donner Summit Avalanche Seminars Norden CA (530) 386-5331
Lake Tahoe Community College Wilderness South Lake Tahoe CA (530) 541-4660
National Ski Patrol Southern California CA (818) 772-7134
American Alpine Institute Truckee CA (360) 671-1505
Mountain Rescue-Aspen Aspen CO (970) 925-7172
Apex Mountain School Vail CO (970) 949-9111
Aspen Alpine Guides Aspen CO (970) 925-6618
Aspen Expeditions Aspen CO (970) 925-7625
Avalanche1 Avon CO (970) 390-9433
Bryan Mtn. Nordic Ski Patrol Boulder CO (303) 786-9874
Boulder Outdoor Center Boulder CO (303) 444-8420
Alpine World Ascents Boulder CO (303) 350-0366
Summit County Search & Rescue Breckenridge CO (970) 262-2377
Babes in the Backcountry Breckenridge CO (970) 453-4060
Pikes Peak Alpine School Colorado Springs CO (719) 630-3934
Crested Butte Mountain Guides Crested Butte CO (970) 349-5430
Colorado Avalanche Info Center Denver CO (303) 499-9650
Boulder Outdoor Center Denver CO (303) 444-8420
Colorado Avalanche School Dillon CO (719) 689-3192
SouthWest Adventure Guides Durango CO (800) 642-5389
Kling Mountain Guides Durango CO (970) 903-8349
Colorado Mountain School Estes Park CO (970) 586-5758
Climbing Life Guides (Eli Helmuth) Estes Park CO (970) 744-4898
Mesa State College Outdoor Program Grand Junction CO (970) 248-1670
Colorado Mtn. College Leadville CO (719) 486-4228
Eldora Mountain Resort Avalanche School Nederland CO (303) 440-8700
Peak Mountain Guides Ouray CO (970) 325-7342
San Juan Mounatin Guides Ouray CO (970) 325-4925
Wolf Creek Avalanche School Pagosa Springs CO (970) 731-2486
Silverton Avalanche School Silverton CO (970) 903-7039
Steamboat Powdercats Steamboat Springs CO (800) 288-0543
Newt Wheatley Memorial Foundation Vail CO (970 )476-7625
Sawtooth Mountain Guides Boise/Stanley ID (208) 559-7590
Sun Valley Trekking Ketchum ID (208) 788-9585
Payette Powder Guides McCall ID (208) 634-4263
National Outdoor Leadership Sch. Victor ID (208) 354-8443
Alpenglow Adventure Sports Orono ME (207) 866-7562
Acadia Mountain Guides Climbing School Orono ME (888) 232-9559
Gallatin Nat?l Forest Aval. Ctr. Bozeman MT (406) 587-6984
Whitefish Backcountry Whitefish MT (406) 270-1057
Glacier Country Avalanche Ctr. Whitefish/Kalispell MT (406) 863-9624
Appalachian Mountain Club Pinkham Notch NH (603) 466-2727
Eastern Mountain Sports North Conway NH (800) 310-4504
Chauvin Guides North Conway NH (603) 356-8919
International Mountain Climbing School North Conway NH (603) 356-7064
Beverly Mountain Guides/Strike Rescue Alburquerque NM (505) 264-8364
San Juan Community College Farmington NM (505) 326-3311
Sierra Ski Touring NULL NV (702) 782-3047
Wing Ridge Ski Tours Joseph OR (541) 426-4322
Mountain Savvy Snow Safety Education Mt. Hood OR (503) 780-9300
Pro Guiding Service North Bend OR (425) 888-6397
Northwest Avalanche Institute NULL OR (360) 663-2597
Mazamas Portland OR (503) 227-2345
Three Sisters Backcountry Access Sisters OR (541) 549-8101
Wallowa Alpine Huts Enterprise OR (541)426-4887
Snowbasin Resort Company Huntsville UT (888) 437-5488
Manti-LaSal Avalanche Center Moab UT (435) 636-3363
The Wilderness School Orem UT (801) 226-7498
Utah Valley State College Orem UT (801) 863-6094
Swiss Rock Guides Park City UT (435) 615-0476
White Pine Touring Park City UT (435) 649-8710
American Avalanche Institute Salt Lake City UT (307) 733-3315
Utah Aval. Forecast Ctr. Salt Lake City UT (801) 261-2928
Exum Utah Mtn. Adventures Salt Lake City UT (801) 272-7338
Know Snow, Inc. Brattleboro VT (802) 254-3311
Petra Cliffs Climbing and Mountaineering Burlington VT (866) 657-3872
Lyndon State College Lyndon VT (802) 626-6406
Kingdom Adventures Wheelock VT (802) 626-4118
Rainier Mountaineering, Inc Ashford WA (888) 892-5462
Northwest Avalanche Institute Crystal Mtn. WA (360) 663-2597
Central Washington University Ellensburg WA
The Everett Mountaineers Everett WA (206) 284-6310
Ridge Explorations Greenwater WA (253) 891-0149
Northwest Mountain School Leavenworth WA (509) 548-5823
North Cascades Mountain Guides Mazama WA (509) 996-3194
Mountain Madness, Inc. Seattle WA (206) 937-8389
The Mountaineers Seattle WA (206) 284-8484
The Sled Shed Tacoma WA (253) 922-3318
American Avalanche Institute Jackson WY (307) 733-3315
Jackson Hole Mountain Guides Jackson Hole WY (307) 733-4979
Name City Province Phone
ZacsTracs Black Diamond AB (403) 850-3042
Canadian Ski Patrol System Calgary AB (403) 296-7691
University of Calgary Calgary AB (403) 220-8638
Alpine Club of Canada Canmore AB (403) 678-3200
Yamnuska Mountain School Canmore AB (403) 678-4164
El Gato Mountain Adventures Canmore AB (403) 609-1526
Mountain Skills Academy Canmore AB (877) 309-7673
Town of Banff Banff BC (250) 344-5707
Wells Grey Chalets Clearwater BC (888) 754-8735
College of the Rockies Fernie BC (250) 423-4691
Columbia Mtn. Recreation Golden BC (250) 344-6322
Adanak Journeys, Ltd. Kamloops BC (250) 578-8704
Ptarmigan Tours Kimberley BC (250) 422-3270
Kootenay Mountain Holidays/Carlyle Lodge Nelson BC (888) 564-8747
Canadian Avalanche Centre Revelstoke BC
Mountain Light Tours Revelstoke BC (250) 837-6655
Kootenay Snow Safety Services Rossland BC (250) 362-5176
Bear Mountaineering School Smithers BC (250) 847-3351
Weathertech Services Terrace BC (250) 638-0828
Canada West Mountain School Vancouver BC (604) 737-3053
Whistler Guides Whistler BC (604) 938-9242
Name City Country Phone
APRENDICA outdoor training (AIARE course provider) Argentina +
APRENDICA outdoor training (AIARE course provider) Chile +
Mountain Outdoor Rescue Equipment Salzburg Austria 49 (0)6245-20430
ANENA France 0033 (0)4 76 51 39 39
High Alpine Mountain Guides Chamonix France +33 6 89 48 41 18
Wilderplaces Chamonix, Mt Blanc France 0033 (0)6 15 72 07 85
Chamonix Experience Argentiere France 0033 (0)4 50 54 09 36
Bruce Goodlad: Mountain Guide Passy France + 33 631 175515
Hydroalpin GmbH Lengries Germany 0049(0)804298531
Steile:Welt Schlehdorf Germany 0049(0)8851615361
Bergfuehlung GmbH Tubingen Germany 0049(0)7071252610
Deutscher Alpenverein Munchen Germany 0049(0)895517000
Deutscher Alpenverein Munchen Germany 0049(0)892907090
DAV Summit Club GmbH Munchen Germany 0049(0)642400
AlpinGutachten.com Germany 0049 (0) 8841 62 77 591
AINEVA Trento Italy +39 0461 230305
ARPAV Centro Valanghe di Arabba Arabba Italy +39 0436 79227
Davy Gunn – Off Piste & Avalanche Safety Scotland/BASP Trainer Highland Scotland 0774 68 60 023
British Association of Snowsport Instructors Highland Scotland 0789 18 78 01
Snowsport Scotland Edinburgh Scotland -
Mountain Surf Club GmbH Interlaken Switzerland ++41 (0)33 823 27 24
Bergpunkt AG Worb Switzerland 031 832 04 06
Lawiny Krakow Poland +48 784 076 948
Gregor Sluga Ljubljana Slovenia 041 699 078
Tomaž Jakofčič Ljubljana Slovenia + 386 41 577 292
Tina Di Batista Ljubljana Slovenia +386 41 577 292
Marko Bleiweis, Jani Pogačar Ljubljana Slovenia +386 1 436 36 54
Marko Šimenc Mac Bovec Slovenia 05 389 64 90
Mitja Šorn/a> Kranj Slovenia
Otago Polytechnic Dunedin and Cromwell New Zealand 03 477 3014
New Zealand Mountain Safety Council Wellington New Zealand +64 4 385 7162

Avalanche Conditions

United States Avalanche Center Canadian Avalanche Center Switzerland Avalanche Center Avalanche Center of Austria Avalanche Center of France Avalanche Center of Germany Avalanche Center of Italy New Zealand Avalanche Center Avalanche Center of Scotland

Beacon Training Parks

Backcountry Access Beacon Training Parks (BTPs) are training systems created to make it easier for recreationists and pros to practice with their transceivers. It features 4-8 permanently buried transmitters wired to a central control panel. To change the scenario, just click the on/off switches on the control panel. Instead of digging holes and reburying beacons all day, you spend your valuable time actually practising with your transceiver.

Alberta British Columbia
Castle Mountain

Kananaskis Country

Mount Norquay

Sunshine Village


Ratzi (near Aldorf) (2)

Revelstoke Mountain

Austria France Finland Germany Italy
Grund Bichlalm, St. Kolomann

Hof Mountain Rescue Team

Laterns Mountain Rescue Team, Vorarlberg

Montafon Mountain Rescue Team

Naturfreundehaus, Kolm Saigurn

Offpiste Adventures, Zell am See

Seegrube Austrian Alpine Club, Innsbruck

Seegrube Mountain Guides, Innsbruck

St. Anton Mountain Rescue Team

Werfenweng Mountain Rescue Team, Werfenweng

Zinken Mountain Rescue Team, Bad Durrnberg

Les Grands Montets, Chamonix Valley

Col de Porte (near Grenoble)


Hiihtokeskus Tunturi- Ylläs

Albert Link Hütte am Spitzingsee

Steibis Bergbahnen

Jenner Bahn-Mittelstation Berchtesgaden

Altavaltellina, Bormio


Passo Tonale, Lombardy

New Zealand Norway Scotland Slovakia
Mt. Hutt

Porters Ski Resort, Craigieburn Range, Canterbury

Craigieburn Ski Club, Craigieburn Range, Canterbury

Remarkables Ski Resort, Queenstown

Cardrona Ski Resort, Wanaka

Treble Cone Ski Resort, Wanaka


Glencoe Mountain Highland

Glenmore Lodge, Cairngorm National Park

Nevis Range Ski Centre, Fort William

Ziarska Cottage, West Tatras

Spain Sweden Switzerland
Oxigen Distributións



Ratzi (near Aldorf) (2)


Jason Anthony, aka
Filip Popov
Meesh Hytner
spencer curran with tracker
Fer Barrios Photo
Guy Pope-Mayell Photo

If you or someone you know was involved in an avalanche incident, please contact us at info@backcountryaccess.com or (303)417-1345

Avalanche Research and Papers

Avalanche Statistics and Education

Under the Radar:Exploiting “New School” Media to Capture Unreported Avalanche Incidents
by Bruce Edgerly
Digging Deeper: Uncovering the Real Issues in North American Multiple Burials
by Bruce Edgerly
Revisiting Multiple Burial Statistics: U.S. Avalanche Incidents 1995-2007
by Bruce Edgerly
Specialized Multiple Burial Techniques: Reality Versus Myth: The European Perspective
by Dieter Stopper & Jon Mullen

Shoveling and Probing

The ABC’s (and D) of Digging: Avalanche Shoveling Distilled to the Basics
by Bruce Edgerly
Shoveling Education at Work: a Case Study
by B. Edgerly, I. Bezubiak, T. Weselake, and J. Kuzma
Strategic Shoveling: The Next Frontier in Companion Rescue
by B. Edgerly and D. Atkins

Avalanche Airbags

Avalanche Airbag Survey: A U.S. Perspective
by Steve Christie
Avalanche Flotation Devices: A Report from WorkSafeBC
Analysis of Avalanche Safety Equipment for Backcountry Skiers
By Hermann Brugger and Markus Falk

Human Factors and Communication

Miscommunication was the biggest problem of the day.
by Trent Meisenheimer
Talking the Talk: Human Factors, Group Communication, and the Next Frontier in Snow Safety
by Bruce Edgerly
Planning and Radio Use for Backcountry Skiers
by Kirk Bachman, Jerry D. Johnson, and Drew Pogge
Heuristic Traps In Recreational Avalanche Accidents: Evidence And Implications
by Ian McCammon
The Role of Training in Recreational Avalanche Accidents in the United States
by Ian McCammon
Human Factors In Avalanche Accidents
by Dale Atkins
The Human Factor – Lessons For Avalanche Education
by Jill Fredston, Doug Fesler, and Bruce Tremper

Avalanche Transceiver Search Techniques

Beacon Overload: Making Sense of Transceiver Multiple-Burial Function
by Bruce Edgerly
Searching in Parallel: Harnessing Manpower in Transceiver Rescues
by Dieter Stopper, Franz Hohensinn and Bruce Edgerly
ICAR Recommendation: regarding optimal information for users about search strip width (or the effective/useful range) of transceivers
Instructing Students On How To Conduct A Multiple Burial Search Using The Micro Search Strip Method
by Steve Blagbrough and Jesse De Montigny
Multiple Beacon Searching For the Masses: A Standardized Approach for Avalanche Educators
by S. Christie
Three Circle Method
Deutscher Alpenverein (DAV) Panorama article
Transceiver Training Parks: Shortening the Beacon Learning Curve
presented at ISSW 2004
by Steve Christie
Pinpointing on a Line: A Modern Technique for Solving Deep Burials
presented at ISSW 2002
by Bruce Edgerly
Companion Rescue and Avalanche Transceivers: The U.S. Experience
by Dale Atkins, Colorado Avalanche Information Center

Beacon Technology

Having Problems in Multiple Burial Searches? Signal Overlap Explained
by Steve Christie
Signal Strength Versus Signal Timing: Achieving Reliability in Multiple Burial Searches
by Dr. Thomas Lund
Gadget Fever: Do we rely on features to avoid practice?
Couloir magazine: Avy Science, p 60
by Craig Dostie
Getting to the Point: a Study on Transceiver Pinpointing Speeds from the German Alpine Club
Deutscher Alpenverein (DAV) Panorama article
by Chris Semmel & Dieter Stopper
Obsolescence and Analog Avalanche Transceivers: Ensuring Downward Compatibility
presented at ISSW 2004
by Bruce Edgerly and John Hereford
Transceiver Laboratory Tests 2001: Summary of report by ANENA (the French avalanche forecasting and research agency)
Download the complete ANENA Test Report
457 kHz Electromagnetism & the Future of Avalanche Transceivers
presented at ISSW 2000
by John Hereford and Bruce Edgerly
Digital Transceiving Systems: The Next Generation of Avalanche Beacons
presented at ISSW 1998
by John Hereford and Bruce Edgerly

Research and Papers in German

Ausgrabetechniken auf den Punkt gebracht
von Bruce Edgerly
Schaufelstrategie: Der nächste Schritt in der Kameradenrettung
von Bruce Edgerly
Signalstärke Versus Zeitanalyse des signals: Verlässlichkeit bei der Suche nach Mehrfachverschütteten
von Dr. Thomas Lund
Wie häufig kommen Mehrfachverschüttungen vor? Tirol, Österreich
von Dieter Stopper und Jon Mullen
Three Circle Method
Deutscher Alpenverein (DAV) Panorama article
Deutscher Alpenverein (DAV) Panorama article
Frequenzverschiebungen und Empfängerbandbreite bei digitalen LVS
ISSW 2004
von Bruce Edgerly and John Hereford