SWAG Upgrade Course


A one day course that teaches the standards professionals use to observe and record Snowpack, Weather, and Avalanche data. Designed for backcountry recreationists who would like to upgrade field observation skills, to support avalanche education and decision making skills, to be able to communicate more effectively with backcountry partners, to be able to contribute useful information to avalanche forecasters for use in public advisories, or to meet requirements for their professional education stream. Minimum of 3 to run.

We offer the SWAG Upgrade program on a custom private basis only at this time. To reserve SWAG dates, please click here.

SWAG Upgrade Course

SWAG stands for Snow, Weather, and Avalanche Guidelines and is the reference used by U.S. avalanche professionals for making and recording standard observations. Upgrading standards improves the quality of the observations you use to make backcountry decisions, allows you to better understand information provided in avalanche bulletins and allows you to reliably share useful information with friends, colleagues, forecasters, guides, and other professionals.

This course is designed specifically for experienced backcountry travelers and aspiring professionals who have taken a Level 2 avalanche course in the past or a non-AIARE Level 2 course where SWAG standards were not fully addressed.* This course is highly recommended as a review for those preparing for their AIARE Level 3 Certification Course or for Level 1 graduates who want to start practicing these skills and providing useful information to professionals and forecasters.

* This course meets requirements to upgrade programs for both AMGA and AIARE program prerequisites.

SWAG Upgrade learning outcomes-

In this course you will learn to:

  • Observe and record field and station weather observations using current standards
  • Observe and record avalanches using current standards
  • Observe and record the snowpack in study plots and field locations using current standards
  • Understand the applications of observation techniques to specific objectives
  • Track observable variations over space and time
  • Better understand local avalanche bulletins
  • Increase your existing decision making skills through the same observation and recording skills used by professionals