Learning to negotiate the backcountry takes years of dedication and practice; Jackson Hole Mountain Guides offers avalanche courses and clinics to help you begin and refine your avalanche safety knowledge and make you a safer, more competent back country adventurer.
The Cody Avalanche Course field days take place 3 miles from the east entrance to Yellowstone National Park in one of the oldest recreational ski areas in the U.S. It is not a resort, but instead remote and beautiful backcountry. Visit www.skisg.com to see for yourself.
We highly encourage every backcountry user to take a Level 1 or 2 AIARE Avalanche Education Course and to follow up with yearly practice, so you enjoy a long lifetime of rewarding backcountry experiences. Along with our AIARE Courses, we offer a number of clinics and opportunities that get you into the mountains to put your backcountry skills to work!
For information on Level 2 AIARE Avalanche Education, click here.
Minimum Age 18
Our AIARE Level 1 Courses are designed for people looking to build a foundation for safe Backcountry travel. This comprehensive 3-day course focuses on hazard evaluation, decision-making and companion rescue in avalanche terrain. One full field day is devoted to slope evaluation, route finding, and risk management. These courses include proper instruction for basic safety and protocols for safe backcountry travel. Over the 3-days you will learn the skills and tools needed to navigate the winter mountains and evaluate the snowpack when traveling through avalanche terrain.
AIARE Level I Avalanche Course: Price: $425
*Please inquire about our 2017/2018 winter dates*
Cody, Wyoming is located in the northwest quadrant of Wyoming, 52 miles east of Yellowstone Park. Cody is positioned at the intersection of U.S. Highway 14-16-20 and WYO Highway 120. It’s 100 miles from Billings, the closest large airport, and is several hours from Denver. The Yellowstone Regional Airport in Cody is the closest regional airport. The Cody office is located inside Sunlight Sports at 1131 Sheridan Avenue in the heart of downtown Cody. We are open every day from 8 am to 5:30 pm. The Cody office can be reached at 307.250.0763VIEW PDF
Prerequisites for touring during our Avalanche Courses: For the field component of these courses, you must have appropriate alpine touring (AT), telemark or split-board equipment. You DO NOT need to be an advanced skier or boarder, but you should be able to ascend moderate slopes using skins and descend downhill effectively in a variety of snow conditions. Other required gear (pack, transceiver, probe) is available for rent from JHMG. Please call ahead for availability.
Cody, Wyoming, lies just east of the high plateau of Yellowstone National Park and is considered the park’s eastern gateway. Cody is located at the western edge of the Bighorn Basin, a depression surrounded by the Big Horn, Wind River, and Absaroka ranges. At the western edge of Cody, a deep canyon formed by the North Fork of the Shoshone River provides the only passage to Yellowstone’s Eastern Entrance.
The weather in the Big Horns are highly variable. Large temperature swings are always possible. Cold winters can normally bring lows of -40 °F (-40 °C). and hot summers can bring 100 °F (38 °C). The humidity of the air is usually 30% or less, which is fairly dry. Precipitation averages 9 inches (229 mm) of rain per year, making the surrounding area a semi-arid desert. During the summer months of June, July and August, if it does snow, it is usually brief and melts quickly. Such events are not frequent, but there are sudden and drastic shifts in weather conditions.
Wind is almost a constant presence in the Cody area and the Big Horn Basin in general. The air flow in the Basin is turbulent, but during the winter, most storms seem to move in from the north-northwest. During the summer, it is not unusual to see storms move in from the southwest. Throughout a normal day, winds can be experienced as coming from almost any direction, mostly from the north and west, but sometimes from the south and east. The Canyon at the west end of Cody seems to funnel rain and wind across the city from the west. The winds can be quite strong at 30 to 40 mph (50 to 60 km/h) and last for several days.Climbers take note: Cody enjoys about 300 days of sunshine per year.
- Top Long Sleeve Synthetic or Wool: medium to expedition weight long underwear
- Puffy Jacket: synthetic light weight down
- Soft Shell or Fleece Jacket
- Shell Jacket with hood. Guide Pick: Mountain Hardwear Alchemy Jacket
- Insulated Jacket– Hood Recommended. Guide Pick: Mountain Hardwear Super Compressor Hooded
- Bottom Synthetic or Wool Long Underwear Bottoms
- Shell Pant: full side zips and built-in gaiters
- Socks: (1 to 2 pairs) synthetic or wool. Sized for your boots and blister protection. Liners recommended.
HEAD AND HANDS
- Gloves 2 to 3 pair: 1 medium, 1 heavy pair
- Hat: medium weight ski hat
- Hat: baseball or visor for sun
- Balacava/neck gaiter
- Back Pack: 30 to 40 Liter ski pack, Guide Pick: Mammut Pro Short Removable Airbag System Backpack
- Water & Food: Thermos or insulated water bottles are best. Lot’s of snacks.
- Sunglasses/ Sunglass Case
- Ski Goggles
- Extra Prescription Glasses/Contact Lens
- Sunscreen/Lip balm
- Headlamp-Extra batteries
- First Aid: minimal-blister kit
SKI/SNOWBOARD EQUIPMENT FOR THE BACKCOUNTRY (Packages available for rent at JHMG)
- Boots: Alpine Touring, Telemark, or Snowboarding Boots
- Skis or Splitboard with compatible binding for boots
- Climbing Skins (fit to skis)
- Ski Poles
- Helmet (optional)
SNOW SAFETY EQUIPMENT (REQUIRED and available for rent at JHMG)
- Transceiver Guide Pick:Mammut Element Barryvox
- Shovel Guide Pick: Mammut Alugator Twist shove
- Probe Guide Pick: Mammut Fastlock Probe 240
Talk To Us
Here you’ll find online tools and information about joining us for a trip of a lifetime! To sign up for a trip, or if you have any questions, please call us. Listed on the left side of these pages are links that you may find useful, including printable forms and policies concerning a trip with JHMG. We encourage ALL prospective climbers to read our Preparation advice. Our office can help place you with others who are looking to climb.