Hosting a Course or Field Session
The majority of the classes I have taught in the past were arranged at the request of a group. Often
a group of friends who ski/climb/sled/etc together. The small
size limits I maintain make it relatively easy to arrange such a class, and there
are many benefits to taking one with people you recreate with in an area
Now that my classroom instruction is web based it is not necessary to assemble a group to take a class where there isn't one scheduled. Anyone can take the online avalanche course from anywhere. However, there are two field days that must be completed. I offer free field days through my business AlpenPro for students who meet the prerequisites (meaning they have credit for the appropriate online avalanche class modules). Organizing a group is the best way to arrange a field day in your area if there is not already one scheduled. Or setting up an additional session dedicated to your group if there is already a field day but you want to do it with friends on a different day.
Organizing a field day or a traditional class is not difficult. There is little responsibility
for logistics. The primary responsibility of the organizer is to make
sure there are enough people and to make the financial
commitment to reserve the time for a course, or to make sure everyone gets enrolled in the online course in the case of a field session. I may ask for some information to help identify local locations for classroom and/or field work and on group accommodations,
The first step is finding other interested people. The standard traditional class
size is six people, I expect you to have at least four.
(See the additional note at the bottom for information on clubs and organizations.) It is suggested that a firm commitment be obtained from the others in order to minimize your own risk. I sometimes
have a list of interested people who are not part of a group, so if you
have less than four people please inquire as to whether I can refer you to interested people in your area.
If you have four or five I reserve the right to fill the remaining space with people who may contact me or be on an interest list waiting
for such an opportunity. While the standard group size for privately arranged programs is six it is possible to accommodate up to eight. (If you have less than six but do not want anyone else joining your group you can pay for the extra spaces, up to six. If you've paid for six and requested that the class be exclusive it will not be expanded to eight.)
Please note that for all field days and courses of any level all participants must have
the prerequisite skills and training. Prior training is not required for Level 1 field days (other than the Level 1 prerequisites), but it becomes an issue for any advanced material. Things have worked out well when the
organizer has screened their group appropriately but have not always
worked so well when that has not happened. While I attempt to screen
people filling vacancies in a class it is definitely best if the group can fill the class with people that have comparable travel skills and backgrounds.
The earlier you contact me and the sooner you can make a commitment
to holding the field day or course the more options you will have for dates. So
Hopefully this will give you an idea of what is required to get started.
I have offered courses in numerous different places and worked under
various agreements, so contact me if you have questions or a proposal
for a particular arrangement.
Clubs and Organizations
I have made some exceptions on class size and price for student clubs and
other organizations. In such cases I have accepted larger numbers of students,
all from the organization, and charged a fixed total price which comes to less per
person. I have done this for standard Level 1 classes, one-day leadership
workshops, and specialized courses. Among the groups I have taught are the
RPI Outing Club,
the MIT Outing Club,
the Clarkson University Outing Club, Paul Smiths College, Chemeketan Climb Leaders, and
the US Army Northern Warfare Training Center instructor corp.
Arrange A Course or Field Day
Contact me if you are ready to set something up or have any questions.