Instructional Classes and Clinics. Spring 2015.

Avalanche Education Courses:

Intro to Avalanches w/Field Course

Dates: January 20, 21 and 23 or 24, 2016:

Cost: $30 donation to Friends of GNFAC

Register online at:
For more information contact the GNFAC at 406-587-6984 or

The Friends of GNFAC and ASMSU Outdoor Rec are sponsoring this course.The lectures will be held on Wednesday and Thursday evenings. Students may choose either a Saturday or Sunday Field Session when they register. Different topics are presented each evening. Topics include: avalanche terrain recognition, the affect weather has on avalanche hazard, the development of the mountain snowpack, decision making skills, and basic search and rescue procedures. Participants in the field course should have basic skiing and snowboarding skills with the appropriate equipment to negotiate “groomed” intermediate ski runs. Please bring skins or snowshoes for uphill travel. (equipment available for rent at outdoor program) Although not required, an avalanche rescue beacon, shovel and probe will be very helpful for the field session. You MUST attend both classroom sessions to attend a field session.

You MUST attend both classroom sessions to attend a field session.

Wednesday and Thurs, 12/2, 12/3 7-9:30 p.m. at MSU Leon Johnson Hall, Room 339
Field Sessions
During registration you can choose either Saturday or Sunday for your field session. They are both held at Bridger Bowl, 9:15 a.m - 3:00 p.m.



Advanced Avalanche Workshop w/Field Course

Pre-registration is required

Dates: Jan. 27th, 28th. Field day Jan. 30th.

Cost: $50 donation to Friends of GNFAC

Register online at:
For more information contact the GNFAC at 406-587-6984 or

The GNFAC along with the Friends of GNFAC and ASMSU Outdoor Program are sponsoring this course.  

The lectures are held on Wednesday and Thursday evenings, with a field course on Saturday at Bridger Bowl. Course content includes: snowpack metamorphism, the mechanics of avalanche failure and fracture, and decision-making. Different topics are covered each evening session. The field session includes snowpack analysis and avalanche rescue scenarios. The course emphasizes snowpack assessment and decision-making skills. Instructors are Karl Birkeland of the National Avalanche Center and Mark Staples of the GNFAC.

Course Requirements:
Students need a basic knowledge of avalanche terrain, weather factors that contribute to avalanches, and the development and relationship between slabs and weak layers. Therefore, each student should have taken the equivalent of our Introduction to Avalanches with Field Course. Each student needs to be skilled with their avalanche beacon and should also bring a shovel and a probe in the field.  Participants should be able to negotiate non-groomed, intermediate slopes on skis or a snowboard. Skins or snowshoes are needed for uphill travel.
You MUST attend both classroom sessions to go in the field on Saturday.


Avalanche Level 1 Course

Dates Fri. February 26th, Sat. 27th, Sun 28th  (Overnight). 
Cost: $275

MSU student priority registration until Feb. 19th.

 Provided in partnership with Beartooth Powder Guides, Cooke City, Mt.

Pre-registration is required.  Register at Outdoor Recreation Program.

Includes: Transportation, lodging at backcountry cabin, equipment (as available, reserve early!) Instruction, Permits and Certification.

Pre-trip meeting (Intro and Gear Check): Tues. Feb. 23rd  @ 5:00. Outdoor Program Resource Room.

Travel- Friday at 8:00 a.m. at Outdoor Recreation – Return Sunday Feb. 28th. App. 9:00 p.m.

Pre-requisites: Intermediate ski skills & moderate physical fitness.

Ice Climbing Courses:


Womens Beginning Ice Climbing Clinics & Body Project.

Dates: Sat. January 30th, Sun. February 14th.  

Cost $65.

(Provided in partnership with Montana State University Office of Health Advancement and Body Project).Register at Outdoor Program. Course includes 2 body project classroom sessions in conjunction with 2 ½ day beginning ice-climbing instructional outings.

Introduction to Ice Climbing Course

Dates: March 4-6.

Cost: $85.

Provided in Partnership with Montana Alpine Guides. 1 evening, 2 full day introduction to Ice Climbing course for beginners. Includes: Transportation, basic equipment (as available, reserve early!), instruction & permits.


Water Courses:


Introduction to Kayaking Class

 Cost $125.

5 nights Tues. Nights Pool sessions, 2 days on-water.

Marga Hosaeus Fitness Center Pool. 5-class pool-based course providing instruction in equipment selection, open water and river safety, paddling techniques and the Eskimo roll basics.  Pool only open to course participants during this time. *Register for classes at Outdoor Recreation Program.


Pool Sessions-  Tuesday Evenings. March 22nd - April 12th. 6:30-7:45.Consecutive Tuesdays.


River Sessions- Sunday, April 24th & Sat. April 30th9:00-5:00. River-Based skill sessions.


Swiftwater Rescue Training

Dates:May 13-15.

Cost: $265.

Register at Outdoor Recreation Program

Provided in conjunction with Swiftwater Safety Institute. Recreational river runners or anyone finding themselves working or playing on or near rivers will gain valuable techniques in dealing with common water hazards and emergencies. This course is designed to meet varying student skill levels. Self rescue and hazard avoidance and recognition are key components in this swiftwater course. Includes Instruction, transportation, certification and permits.