Avalanche Rescue Course: December 21, 22 or 28

Click on the date below to register for a Chicks Avalanche Rescue Course.

You will be re-directed to the Silverton Avalanche School Website.

December 21, Ouray, CO

December 22, Telluride, CO

December 28, Silverton, CO

To learn more about our relationship with the Silverton Avalanche School, read Chicks Climbing and Skiing Co-Owner, Angela Hawse’s blog: Can You Dig? | Chicks Joins Force with the Silverton Avalanche School.

Prepare for winter.

Chicks practice digging at an avalanche rescue course

Chicks Avalanche Rescue Course participants digging practice. ©Angela Hawse

Join us in our backyard, Colorado’s San Juan Mountains.

This year we’re offering three 1-day Avalanche Rescue courses with Kitty Calhoun, Co-owner Chicks Climbing and Skiing, in partnership with the Silverton Avalanche School.

Kitty Calhoun grew up skiing with her dad in North Carolina. This was before she became the most accomplished female alpinist in American history. With A Skiing Legacy passed down from her dad and from an esteemed lineage of story-based learning, Kitty asks, “Are you Avalanche Aware?” and expects you to say, “Yes!”



An Avalanche Rescue Course is a beginner-level course and a refresher course for all backcountry users. (We recommend refreshing your avalanche rescue skills with an Avalanche Rescue Course every two years.)

This all-women’s course is a unique opportunity to learn from Kitty Calhoun, one of the most-experienced, all-female climbing and backcountry skiing instructors in the world. 

In 1999 Kitty taught her first Chicks with Picks Ice Climbing clinic and she hasn’t looked back since. 

Women feel more comfortable asking questions in an all-female environment. And when they feel more comfortable, they learn more and they learn faster.” –Kitty Calhoun.


Review and practice fundamental avalanche rescue skills in an all-female environment.

Chicks avalanche rescue course participant practices a fine search with her avalanche transceiver

Chicks Avalanche Rescue Course participant practicing fine search with her avalanche transceiver. ©Angela Hawse

An Avalanche Rescue Course is the first step towards building avalanche rescue skills.

Any woman—backcountry newbie to veteran—who plans to travel in the backcountry in the wintertime, should take this course. 













I really love Chicks. The spirit, attitude, and all-female learning and support is a beautiful aspect of advancing outdoor education. As a women in multiple outdoor sports that has had a lot of “guys” attempt to show me the ropes, I’m very thankful for alternatives like Chicks. And having Kitty as a guide is really a highlight – her experience and knowledge are invaluable. I would literally sign up for almost anything if Kitty was guiding 🙂–Courtney Myer.

Set yourself up for success as a competent member of any winter backcountry party.

This intensive clinic will give you more confidence to use your avalanche rescue equipment and a framework for sound decision-making in the event of an avalanche incident.  You’ll learn how to access backcountry conditions and weather forecasts, how to make a basic emergency plan and how to manage groups in avalanche terrain.

Ample hands-on practice helps you perform critical avalanche rescue skills in the event of an avalanche burial.

Chicks Climbing and Skiing Avalanche Rescue Course participants learning avalanche rescue skills in an all-female course

Chicks Climbing and Skiing Avalanche Rescue Course participants learning avalanche rescue skills in an all-female environment. ©Angela Hawse

Chicks offers a systematic approach with the best professional instruction and coaching in the industry. You’ll know your avalanche transceiver inside and out, use your probe and shovel effectively, as well as get the skinny on airbag and Avalung use.

Our Avalanche Rescue Course doesn’t require skis or any specialized equipment, only warm clothing, winter footwear, and ample calories.

This course meets guidelines set by the American Avalanche Association and the International Commission for Alpine Rescue (ICAR).

Chicks’ Avalanche Rescue Course is a certified pre-requisite the Pro Level 1, if that is your goal.  


It had to happen! Incredible women, incredible purpose, I’m all about it . . . most of the time (in work, play, indoors, outdoors), I am surrounded by and learning/working with men. The concept of ONLY being with women was fantastic. We really do speak our own precious language.“–Stephanie Key

Click on the date below to register.

(You will be re-directed to the Silverton Avalanche School Website.)

December 21, Ouray, CO

December 22, Telluride, CO

December 28, Silverton, CO

Avalanche Rescue Course Learning Outcomes and Hands-on Training

  • Recognizing and preparing to enter avalanche terrain
  • Personal protective equipment for the winter environment
  • Overview of personal avalanche rescue equipment and proper use
  • Self-evacuation equipment and proper use
  • Functionality checks of your personal avalanche rescue equipment
  • How to perform group checks of transceivers at the start of each day
  • Basics of an Emergency Plan and group management
  • Travel protocols for avalanche terrain
  • How to use the functions on your avalanche transceiver quickly and decisively
  • Response and actions if involved in an avalanche (victim or rescuer); assessing the scene and taking leadership
  • Fundamentals of organizing and executing an effective search in avalanche debris using the signal, course, fine and pinpoint search technique
  • Scenarios; how to set up effective scenarios for practice
  • Techniques for effective probing and shoveling  
  • Discussion of first aid skills likely to be used in actual rescues
  • Requesting outside assistance and what to expect

At the end of the Avalanche Rescue course our students should be able to:

  • Describe what to do if they or a member of their party is caught in an avalanche
  • Identify and be able to use gear necessary for avalanche rescue
  • Set up a realistic scenario in order to practice an avalanche rescue response
  • Improve their response skills and times during and after the course with feedback from instructors and peers
  • Develop a plan for continued practice

PRICE: $150


  • 8-hours of instruction
  • Avalanche Rescue Certification upon completion
  • Chicks Welcome Bag

Not Included:

  • Personal protective outerwear*
  • Warm clothing*
  • Food and Water
  • Transportation
  • Personal or Trip Insurance
  • Lodging

*Demos from our Sponsors are available including outerwear, warm layers, and gloves.  Please contact us if you would like to check out some of the latest and greatest.


Click on the date you’d like to register for and you will be re-directed to the Silverton Avalanche School website to complete the process.

December 21, Ouray, CO

December 22, Telluride, CO

December 28, Silverton, CO


What to Bring

Travel Logistics


8:00 Welcome and intros, Chicks Welcome Bags, goals and objectives

8:30 All-day In the Field Training – venue specifics provided upon registration

5:00 Wrap Up and Avalanche Rescue Certificates


A $35.00 fee is charged for course date transfers. 60% of the course cost can be refunded up to 30 days prior to the course start.  No refunds are provided for cancellations made less than 30 days prior to the start of the course for which you are registered. Unfortunately, we cannot give refunds, rainchecks or cancellations if mountain passes are closed.