Avalanche Essentials

For those needing to enhance their avalanche hazard evaluation and update with basic use of transceivers.


Course Outline

This course will focus on the key issues of avalanche hazard evaluation and the essential team skill of companion rescue with transceivers:

  • Avalanche hazard evaluation – Planning, Journey & Key Places
  • Understanding transceivers
  • Avalanche rescue equipment, personal and team
  • Companion rescue – transceiver search, probing, strategic shovelling
  • Basic avalanche casualty management

Pre-Course Requirements

In order to ensure smooth running of the course all candidates are asked to observe the following conditions:

  • All participants are requested to ensure they have transport arranged as the course programme will necessitate travel to and from training venues.
  • Packed lunch is supplied with this course
  • Sufficient personal equipment is required to enable candidates to operate within a mountainous environment, in all conditions, for the duration of the course.

Essential equipment

  • A personal avalanche transceiver + spare batteries (If you need to borrow an avalanche transceiver please inform the course director/host)
  • Avalanche probe
  • Lightweight snow shovel
  • Team radio
  • Map of the area.

Example Program

Time Topic Trainers
1900 Course Welcome & AdministrationBar meals available from 1700 at own expense Course Director
1915 Lecture: “Be Avalanche  Aware” Planning,Journey, Key Places Common Terrain & Snowpack issuesHuman Factors Course Director
2015 Lecture: “Understanding the Transceiver”What is inside the box and how do they work? Lead Instructor
2200 Social All


Time Topic Trainers
0830 Course Assembles All
0845 Applying the “Be Avalanche Aware” model. Snowpack history. Transceiver checks. All
0945 Head to the hill:Mountain observations – Journey & Key Places,Testing transceiver range,Transceiver search – signal, coarse, pin point (single burial)Probing & Strategic ShovellingBasic casualty managementAwareness of multiple burial and the various transceiver modes to assist search All
1530 Leave hill Group trainers to account for all candidates All
1600 Back to Glenmore LodgeRefreshments and course review All



Scottish Mountain Rescue, formerly known as The Mountain Rescue Committee of Scotland, is a registered Scottish Charity – number SC045003