The American Avalanche Institute was founded in Jackson, WY by Rod Newcomb in the winter of 1973/1974. Our curriculum has been evolving for over 35 years and is built on a foundation of snow science AND practical application.

The focus of AAI avalanche courses is to provide students with useful, applicable information for use in the field. We spend 60% of each course in the field, focusing on hands-on learning, coaching, and supervised decision-making.

AAI teaches courses to beginning recreationists, introducing basic concepts for avalanche hazard mitigation and travel techniques in avalanche terrain, as well as to industry professionals – including ski guides, ski patrollers, and avalanche forecasters. The AAI curriculum is a progression, where each course builds on knowledge gained from the previous course.

We think it’s especially important that all of our instructors are currently practicing their craft professionally. Whether they perform snow safety work at ski resorts, guide on major peaks, or forecasting for transportation/industry, you can be sure that your instructor is a professional avalanche worker.

Snow Pit


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