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 25 professional instructors reaches hundreds of students.  We offer several courses every year.  Select a link below to view current courses and offerings.


* We will not be holding indoor classes. Lectures will be delivered online through both original and innovative videos or live virtual sessions. Fields days will be longer and organized into very small teams! *

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

Alayne Tetor

This course helped me to understand how weather and terrain effect snow conditions and how to collect and discern critial information for safe skiing in the backcountry. Even though I have almost no science background, the instructors made everything very accessible to learn and practice.

Avalanche Level 2

Matthew Murphy

Stay Safe in the backcountry and have your buddies backs - take a class with AAS!

Pro I Bridge

Mark Wallters

The Pro I course opened the door for further learning, career development and a greater grasp of my freedom of the hills!

Pro I