Located in the beautiful Flathead Valley, The Mountain Guides Montana offers avalanche courses and backcountry skiing skills courses. Our goal is to educate and develop backcountry users who feel confident in their abilities to assess and manage risk. Let us help you deepen your knowledge base and refine your backcountry skills. Our avalanche courses utilize a mix of self guided learning, virtual classroom time and experiential education to create a comprehensive learning environment that adapts to your schedule and learning needs. Our professional guides and avalanche instructors are dedicated to providing you with a unique and powerful course that will fundamentally change the way you view the winter world and how you make your choices when recreating in it.
We highly encourage every backcountry user to educate themselves and to follow up with yearly practice, so you enjoy a long lifetime of rewarding backcountry experiences. Along with our avalanche courses, we offer custom 1-day course focused on learning and refining backcountry skills.
Minimum Age 18
Our immersion learning based AIARE Level 1 Courses are designed for people looking to build a foundation for safe Backcountry travel. This comprehensive 3-day course focuses on hazard evaluation, decision-making and companion rescue in avalanche terrain. These courses include proper instruction for basic safety and protocols for safe backcountry travel. Over the 3-days you will learn the skills and tools needed to navigate the winter mountains and evaluate the snowpack when traveling through avalanche terrain.
The course begins at 8 am at Great Northern Powder Guides. From there, you’ll ride in the snowcat up to the yurts. You can expect to return to GNPG base by 5 PM on the third day.
Our in-person AIARE Level 1 Courses are designed for people looking to build a foundation for safe Backcountry travel but might not be ready to navigate more challenging terrain as a skier or a snowboarder. This comprehensive 3-day course focuses on hazard evaluation, decision-making and companion rescue in avalanche terrain. These courses include proper instruction for basic safety and protocols for safe backcountry travel. Over the 3-days you will learn the skills and tools needed to navigate the winter mountains and evaluate the snowpack when traveling through avalanche terrain.
The course begins at noon at Blacktail Mountain Resort, located 14 miles West of Lakeside. The following days’ classes will be held there as well from 9am – 5pm.
Our hybrid online/in-person AIARE Level 1 Courses are designed for people looking to build a foundation for backcountry travel who need a more flexible timeline that can fit into a weekend format. This comprehensive course consists of +/- 5 hours of self guided learning, a 3 hour evening session and 2 days in the field. The curriculum focuses on hazard evaluation, decision-making and companion rescue in avalanche terrain. These courses include an introduction to equipment options and proper use, instruction in basic risk management and terrain selection and protocols for backcountry travel. Throughout the course you will learn the skills and tools needed to navigate the winter mountains and evaluate the snowpack when traveling through avalanche terrain.
The course begins at 6PM for the 3 hour evening session and then meets at the base lodge fire pit at Whitefish Mountain Resort at 830 AM on both days. Students can expect to be back to be done by 630 PM on both days.
CLICK HERE for a course outline.
Classroom and Hybrid AIARE Level I Avalanche Courses:
$595 / person
Immersion Yurt-based AIARE 1 Avalanche Courses:
$850 / person. Price includes dinner, breakfast and hot drinks at the yurts as well as transportation via snowcat from the Great Northern Powder Guides’ base area to the yurts. Students are responsible for their own transportation to and from Great Northern Powder Guides which is located 23 miles north of Whitefish.
- Top Long Sleeve Synthetic: medium to expedition weight long underwear Guide Pick: Mountain Hardwear Butterman 1/2 zip
- Soft Shell or Fleece Jacket Guide Pick: Mountain Hardwear 32 Degree Jacket
- Shell Jacket with hood. Guide Pick: Mountain Hardwear Cloudseeker Jacket
- Puffy Jacket: Hood Recommended. Guide Pick: Mountain Hardwear Ghostwhisperer Jacket
- Bottom Synthetic or Wool Long Underwear Bottoms Guide Pick: Mountain Hardwear Butterman Tight
- Shell Pant: full side zips and built-in gaiters Guide Pick: Mountain Hardwear Highball Pant
- Socks: Synthetic or wool. Sized for your boots and blister protection. Liners recommended.
HEAD AND HANDS
- Gloves 3 pair: 1 light, 1 medium, 1 heavy pair Guide Pick: Mountain Hardwear Cyclone GTX Glove
- Hat: medium weight ski hat
- Hat: baseball or visor for sun
- Buff/neck gaiter
- Back Pack: 30 to 40 Liter ski pack, Guide Pick: Mammut Pro Short Removable Airbag System Backpack
- Water & Food: Thermos or insulated water bottles are best. Lot’s of snacks.
- Sunglasses/ Sunglass Case
- Ski Goggles
- Extra Prescription Glasses/Contact Lens
- Sunscreen/Lip balm
- Headlamp-Extra batteries
SKI/SNOWBOARD EQUIPMENT FOR THE BACKCOUNTRY (Packages available for rent at Jackson location ONLY)
- Boots: Alpine Touring, Telemark, or Snowboarding Boots
- Skis or Splitboard with compatible binding for boots
- Climbing Skins (fit to skis)
- Ski Poles
- Helmet (optional)
SNOW SAFETY EQUIPMENT (REQUIRED and available for rent at JHMG)
- Transceiver Guide Pick:Mammut Barryvox S
- Shovel Guide Pick: Mammut Alugator Twist shove
- Probe Guide Pick: Mammut Fastlock Probe 240
Courses at Blacktail Ski Area take place near Lakeside, MT. Students are responsible for their own lodging, transportation and meals during the course.
GNPG base area is 23 miles North of Whitefish:
Yurt-based courses take place at the Great Norther Powder Guide’s backcountry facility or at Downing Mountain Lodge near Hamilton, Mt. Lodging and meals at the facility are included in the price. At Great Northern Powder Guides, we also provide a snow cat ride to and from the Yurt. Students are responsible for their own transportation to the yurt locations as well as their own lunch and snackfood for three touring days..
Whitefish AIARE 1 course field sessions utilize the Canyon Creek area near Whitefish Mountain Resort. We will be meeting at the base lodge ticket window at 8AM for each field day. Each participant will need an uphill pass for the resort for these courses.
Downing Mountain Lodge is located twenty minutes from Hamilton, MT. Hamilton is a 3.5 hour drive from Whitefish and 1 hour drive from Missoula. 1017 Grubstake rd. Hamilton. Mt. 59840 is the physical address found on mapping programs.
Because of Mountain Guides Montana’s location in beautiful Flathead Valley and proximity to Glacier National Park our venues for teaching are one of a kind. Flights come into Glacier International Airport (FCA) and Missoula (MSO) daily. Amtrak arrives in Whitefish once per day.
Because of The Mountain Guides Montana Whitefish, Montana location in beautiful Flathead Valley and proximity to Glacier National Park our venues for teaching are one of a kind. Flights come into Glacier International Airport (FCA) daily. Amtrak arrives once per day.
As the signature sponsor of our Avalanche Safety Courses, all students enrolled will be able to test and demo Mammut avalanche safety equipment during the course at no charge. In exchange, participants provide five photos of the gear in use as well as a review of the gear OR a post on social media tagging @jhmtnguides and @mammutna.
Talk To Us
Here you’ll find online tools and information about joining us for a trip of a lifetime! To sign up for a trip, or if you have any questions, please call us. Listed on the left side of these pages are links that you may find useful, including printable forms and policies concerning a trip with TMG. We encourage ALL prospective climbers to read our Preparation advice. Our office can help place you with others who are looking to climb.