Avalanche Education at Bell Lake Yurt

There is no skill more important for backcountry skiers and riders than recognizing and assessing avalanche hazard, and using well-gathered information to make safe decisions. Let our team of friendly, experienced avalanche educators help you master the strategies to make the backcountry a rewarding place to play--for an entire lifetime of powder turns. All BSBG courses adhere to current American Avalanche Association (AAA) standards.

Level 1 Avalanche

Get a Level 1 avalanche course and a fully guided, catered yurt trip with Big Sky Backcountry Guides! Bell Lake Yurt's immersive, high-country environment takes avalanche education where it belongs: into the backcountry. Spend three days and two nights learning in the mountains--not a classroom.

3 Days/ 2 Nights

$600/person all inclusive

  • Price includes professional instruction, three days and two nights at beautiful Bell Lake Yurt, delicious meals, a certificate of completion, and plenty of turns! Compare at $425+ for town-based courses, and Bell Lake Yurt provides amazing value.

  • With a maximum class size of eight (vs. up to 24 in other courses), and a maximum instructor ratio of 4:1 (vs. up to 7:1 in other courses) students receive personalized attention and the best quality experience possible.

  • Guests will need touring bindings and skins or a splitboard (no snowshoes, please), and an avalanche transciever, shovel, and probe. Gear rentals are available at local shops and through Big Sky Backcountry Guides. Please call 406-581-5754.

This course focuses on the following:

  • Basic avalanche terminology

  • Recognizing avalanche terrain

  • Travel procedures in avalanche terrain

  • Formation of the mountain snowpack

  • How weather affects snowpack

  • Human factors and how they influence decision-making

  • Interpreting the avalanche forecast bulletin

  • Tour planning

  • Avalanche transceiver use and rescue skills

  • Field observations of terrain, snowpack, and weather

  • Basic use and interpretation of stability tests

  • Next steps

NOTE: Bell Lake Yurt Level 1 avalanche courses take place in the backcountry. The approach to our yurt is 2.6 miles and 1,600 feet, which usually takes around three hours of skinning with a daypack and sleeping bag. Please be physically prepared.


2018-19 Course Schedule:

2018-19 Registration is Open!

(Click Dates Below to Register)

1.) Dec. 7-9, 2018 (FULL!)

2.) Dec. 14-16, 2018 (FULL!)

3.) Dec. 28-30, 2018 (FULL!)

4.) Jan. 4-6, 2019 (FULL!)

5.) Jan. 11-13, 2019 (FULL!)

6.) Jan. 18-20, 2019 (FULL!)


Due to very high demand, we’re offering a(nother) bonus Level 1 Avalanche course!

7.) Jan. 6-8, 2019 (FULL!)

8.) December 16-18, 2018 (FULL!)

Here's what people are saying:

Being in the real backcountry rather than lift-served terrain made it far more real, and I learned a LOT. Highly recommend.
The Bell Lake Yurt courses are an incredible value. WAY better than the town-based course I took before. A great experience!
The small group size and super personable instructors really made me comfortable asking questions.
Very well-organized and professional—and the setting can’t be beat!

Important Payment and Booking Info

  • Courses and camps require full payment at time of booking.

  • Courses are non refundable, unless your position in the class can be filled. An $80 administrative fee will be assessed to all refunds.

  • Payments may be made via MasterCard or Visa--sorry, checks are no longer accepted. Rates do not include 3% CC processing fee or guide gratuity.