Avalanche Education


For over 14 years Selkirk Powder guides have led thousands of clients on successful excursions in the backcountry. Our guides are mature skiers and snowboarders trained and certified in skiing safety. They aim to provide a fun ski or snowmobile outing, while balancing each group’s ability with the most suitable riding terrain.


We are a Level II Alpine Ski and Snowmobile Outfitter. The Idaho Outfitters and Guides Licensing Board licenses, monitors, and annually reviews all outfitters working in our state. To obtain a license an outfitter must meet or exceed avalanche education, medical and operating skill requirements. Outfitters must annually renew their applications, and guides’ credentials such as First Aid/CPR must be annually recertified.

National Ski Patrol (NSP)

Selkirk Powder Guides is it’s own Professional Division of the National Ski Patrol.

First Aid

Schweitzer Mountain has a First Aid Station staffed by a nurse and doctor from local hospitals. Helicopter Ambulances are stationed at Sandpoint or Spokane Airport(s).

Mutual Aid Program

We have a Mutual Aid Response agreement with our neighbor, Schweitzer Mountain Resort. This program provides access to a larger number of National Ski Patrollers, additional snowcats, snowmobiles and rescue equipment as needed.



The Level 1 avalanche course is directed towards recreational skiers, snowboarders and snowmobilers.  The American Avalanche Association curriculum is taught over four days with both classroom and field sessions. In the classroom students will become acquainted with the three principal contributing factors for avalanches, learn how to evaluate each as they relate to the probable hazard, and use this data for decision making. These objectives are achieved through a combination of video, discussion and practical exercises. Students will also become familiar with the avalanche forecasting system, rescue organization, and decision making matrices. The field session will focus on route selection, hazard identification and evaluation, decision making and rescue (beacon search, group and self-rescue). Emphasis is on preparing the students to recognize avalanche prone terrain, make rudimentary evaluations of hazards and, in the event an incident does occur, conduct a safe, timely rescue. Course size is limited to 7 students per instructor.

Course requirements: Students must sign a waiver, be in good health, be capable and equipped to ascend and descend slopes in a backcountry environment; skis and snowboards required. All participants need to be equipped with a pack, probe, shovel, avalanche beacon. Also, strongly recommended but not required are a snow study kit including booklet, pen/pencil, thermometer(s), 2-meter measuring stick, clinometer, crystal cards and a brush.  Be prepared to spend the whole day on the snow.

Some additional materials may be provided for instructional purposes.



Cost per person: $349 (All classes are identical in format)


Class 1
January 11-14, 2018
Thursday, January 11:  Classroom Session,  Schweitzer Mountain Firehouse,  5-9 PM
Friday, January 12:  Classroom Session,  Schweitzer Mountain Firehouse,  5-9 PM
Saturday, January 13:  Field Session, Selkirk Powder, 8AM-4PM
Sunday, January 14:  Field Session, Selkirk Powder, 8AM-4PM

© 2019 Selkirk Powder

Phone (208) 263-6959
Map Marker

10000 Schweitzer Mountain Road
Sandpoint, Idaho 83864