Located in beautiful Whitefish near the West entrance to Glacier National Park, The Mountain Guides Montana offers avalanche courses and skills clinics to help you begin and refine your avalanche safety and knowledge and help you become a safer, more competent back country adventurer. Instructors Kenny Gasch and Susan Purvis are both instructors for the American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education (AIARE). In our AIARE courses we’ve taken it to the next level by providing students with an ideal learning environment for avalanche education with a one-of-a-kind wilderness venue. On our AIARE 1 courses, we have partnered with Great Northern Powder Guides to provide a three day, yurt-based course in the heart of the Stillwater State Forest. Lodging, meals at the yurt and transportation from the highway to the yurt via snowcat are all included.
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 back country skills to work!
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. 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.
The course begins at 8 AM the morning of the first day. We will meet at the base lodge of Great Northern Powder Guides located approximately 24 miles North of Whitefish on Hwy. 93 on the left hand side of the road. GNPG is located approximately one mile beyond Dog Creek Lodge and Nordic Center. From there we will be transported via snowcat to Great Northern Powder Guides backcountry yurt. We will be conducting the entire course at the yurt, teaching, learning, eating, sleeping, ski touring, and having a great time. GNPG will pick us back up the afternoon of the third day and take us out and back to the base lodge. You can expect to be back out approximately at 5:00 pm.
The cost of the course includes all AIARE materials and instruction, transportation from the base lodge to the yurt and back, dormitory style lodging at the yurt, and breakfast and dinners while in the field.
AIARE Level I Avalanche Course: Price: $495 Per Person
December 13-15, 2019
December 20-22, 2019
December 27-29, 2019
February 21-23, 2020
Accommodations in the Great Northern Powder Guides’ yurt are provided for two nights during the course. We
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. If you’re new to Backcountry Touring, consider participating in one of our Backcountry Basics Camps prior to your course. 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 The Mountain Guides Montana. Please call ahead for availability.
- Top Long Sleeve Synthetic: medium to expedition weight long underwear Guide Pick: Mountain Hardwear Butterman 1/2 zip
- Soft Shell or Fleece Jacket Guide Pick: Mountain Hardwear 32 Degree Jacket
- Shell Jacket with hood. Guide Pick: Mountain Hardwear Cloudseeker Jacket
- Puffy Jacket: Hood Recommended. Guide Pick: Mountain Hardwear Ghostwhisperer Jacket
- Bottom Synthetic or Wool Long Underwear Bottoms Guide Pick: Mountain Hardwear Butterman Tight
- Shell Pant: full side zips and built-in gaiters Guide Pick: Mountain Hardwear Highball Pant
- Socks: Synthetic or wool. Sized for your boots and blister protection. Liners recommended.
HEAD AND HANDS
- Gloves 3 pair: 1 light, 1 medium, 1 heavy pair Guide Pick: Mountain Hardwear Cyclone GTX Glove
- Hat: medium weight ski hat
- Hat: baseball or visor for sun
- Buff/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
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 Barryvox S
- Shovel Guide Pick: Mammut Alugator Twist shove
- Probe Guide Pick: Mammut Fastlock Probe 240
As the signature sponsor of our AIARE Level 1 and Level 2 courses, all students enrolled will be able to test and demo all Mammut safety equipment for the duration of their course for no charge. Students who elect to take advantage of this program will be expected to fill out a review of the equipment they demo. Once submitted, they will receive a discount code for 15% off any full-priced Mammut airbag, beacon, shovel or probe.
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.