The Alaska Avalanche School has been in existence since 1976, when it was founded by Doug Fesler as an avalanche safety center under the State of Alaska.

Later, the school became known as the Alaska Mountain Safety Center, where Doug, along with Jill Fredston, began teaching avalanche safety courses. The Alaska Avalanche School has grown steadily in the four decades since its inception, and now a staff of over 40 professional instructors reaches hundreds of students. Select a link below to view current courses and offerings.

Custom Courses

For over 40 years AAS has been teaching diverse audiences field safety techniques that allow groups to work, live, and play in snow filled mountains. Our customized course can be adapted to fit the needs of any team.  We have organized trainings for special operations military teams, utility lineman, scientists, (more… )

Medical Courses

Essential for anyone who spends a significant amount of time in remote places, wilderness medicine classes will prepare you to make difficult medical decisions. In our fast-paced engaging courses, you will spend half your time outside of the classroom in realistic scenarios, including a full-scale night mock rescue. The nationally (more… )

Pro Courses

“Pro courses” are designed for avalanche professionals either employed or seeking employment in the avalanche industry. Applicants are screened to make sure they meet prior learning and employment guidelines. Throughout the course students are evaluated and tested on knowledge, skills, and abilities- which requires rigorous study, completion of assignments, and (more… )

Recreational Courses

We offer a variety of courses for current and aspiring backcountry travelers. These courses are designed for the general public and those cutting their teeth in exploring out-of-bounds terrain. Students are introduced to processes for evaluating where and how to travel in avalanche terrain. They are appropriate for anyone traveling (more… )

Snowmachine Courses

You got the gear now get the training. These classes are taught for and by snowmachiners. Learn how to avoid getting caught in an avalanche and common traps for mountain riders. Alaskan sledders ride with outsized risk. In multiple surveys we found most Alaskan riders have zero formal avalanche education (more… )

Weather Forecasting

Alaska Winter Weather Forecasting focuses on reading and interpreting pertinent weather maps and computer models, with an emphasis on products specific to Alaska. Students should have a basic understanding of the weather and weather terminology, and have some experience navigating the Internet to view various weather maps and products. A technical (more… )

Youth Avalanche Education

Our school offers a variety of winter safety program targeting backcountry and avalanche awareness education for Grades K-12. We travel to schools throughout the state to deliver age appropriate lectures with the popular "Know Before You Go" program. We offer 1-day "Backcountry 101" classes for kids 6th-12th grade. We invite (more… )

Erin Kilbury

Last year I took the first Level One Avalanche Course at the Manitoba Hut, hosted by the Alaska Avalanche School. It was an inspiring, humbling and empowering experience that I highly recommend to anyone doing winter travel in the mountains. Whether you are new to Alaska’s terrain and snow or have been playing in the mountains your whole life, this course delivers high-value, essential information for making safe and educated decisions.

Avalanche Level 1

Brent Byne

Everyone who rides in the backcountry needs this course. Save your buddies. They might save you or avoid that red flag.

Snowmachine Level 1

Anna Ferntheil

The AAS level 2 class dove deeper into avalanche and group mechanics. The knowledge presented in the course will help preapre students wanting to take the next steps in backcountry travel. I feel much better equipped to make well informed snow travel. I feel much better equipped to make well informed snow travel decisions- even if limited information is readily available.

Avalanche Level 2

Jessica Cobley

This was a fantastic course to introduce me to learning about avalanche safety! All of our instructors were knowledgable and fun to be around. I now have a much better idea about what to look out for when backcountry skiing and am looking forward to practicing what we learned! "Don't just know better, do better. - Fredrik"

Avalanche Level 1