NSP Avalanche Education Saves Lives

Eric Zaharee with a Forest Service Snow Ranger assess snow pack stability under the Sluice Ice in Tuckerman’s Ravine, NH

More and more skiers, snowboarders, snowshoers, and snowmobilers are accessing the backcountry every winter in search of untracked powder and adventure. Unfortunately for these winter enthusiasts, the “avalanche dragon” also lurks there. Backcountry terrain is neither controlled nor patrolled, and under the right (or wrong!) conditions, avalanches can turn adventure into tragedy.

While large avalanches can easily destroy anything in their path, smaller avalanches are more often responsible for injuries or death to people. The overall survival rate for someone caught in an avalanche is one in three. These sobering statistics indicate that it is critical to be well-versed in both avalanche avoidance and avalanche rescue techniques.

NSP has been educating ski patrollers and other search and rescue personnel since 1957, making it the oldest and most experienced provider of avalanche education for professionals in the U.S. Recently, NSP has expanded its program, offering 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. Course content is frequently updated to incorporate the latest science-based knowledge, skills, and techniques. All avalanche education courses are taught by NSP-certified avalanche instructors who have undergone rigorous training and evaluation of technical knowledge and teaching skill. For more information on a course, whether a simple awareness presentation or a Level 1 avalanche program with extensive field training follow the links below to discover the details and feel free to contact the NH Region Avalanche Advisor:

Email the Avalanche Advisor with comments and questions.