OP Courses

Outdoor Programs offers industry-standard certification courses in wilderness medicine, avalanche education, and swift water rescue. These courses are open to the general public unless specified otherwise. Priority registration may be given to USU students, faculty and staff with certain course offerings. Only USU students currently enrolled at the time of registration are eligible for the student rate. Course participants must be a minimum of 18 years of age.

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Wilderness First Aid (WFA)

This course is a great introduction to wilderness medicine and basic life support skills. It is perfect for the outoor enthusiast who wants more than an urban first aid course provides. The emphasis of the course is on recognizing and treating life-threatening traumatic and medical emergencies, common wilderness injuries, bandaging and splinting, and environmental injuries. CPR & AED is included in the curriculum.

This course is taught in partnership with Desert Mountain Medicine and is offered for USU academic credit through Kinesiology and Health Sciences.

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Wilderness First Responder (WFR) Online Hybrid 

Recognized as the standard medical training for guides, outdoor educators, and wilderness enthusiasts. The 80-hour WFR course provides students with the knowledge and skills to respond to medical and traumatic emergencies in remote locations. CPR & AED is included in the curriculum.

The first 30 hours consist of self-directed online modules followed by 50 hours of hands-on classroom and scenario-based instruction. The online session must be completed prior to the start of the classroom session.

This course is taught in partnership with Desert Mountain Medicine and is offered for USU academic credit through Kinesiology and Health Sciences.

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Wilderness First Responder Recertification (WRC)
Online Hybrid

This course may be used to refresh a Wilderness Advanced First Aid (WAFA), Wilderness First Responder (WFR) or Wilderness EMT (wilderness section only) certifications. The 3-day course is heavily scenario based and will provide a review and update of wilderness medicine treatment practices, protocols and evacuation guidelines. On day one you will jump right into scenarios and move through the course curriculum at a fast pace. 

Curriculum is tailored to:

  • Experienced Backcountry Users & Professional Guides
  • The Latest Wilderness Medicine Protocols
  • Industry Standards
  • Risk Assessment & Wilderness Risk Management

Prerequisites

  • Previous WFR certifications must have been at least 72-hours in length.
  • All participants must have completed the online modules prior to the start of the in-person classroom session.

This course is taught in partnership with Desert Mountain Medicine.

AIARE LogoAvalanche 1

The AIARE 1 is a three-day, 24-hour introduction to avalanche hazard management.

Students can expect to develop a good grounding in how to prepare for and carry out a backcountry trip, to understand basic decision making while in the field, and to learn rescue techniques required to find and dig up a buried person.

Who Should Take this Course

The AIARE 1 is for anyone who wants to recreate in or near avalanche terrain. Participants may have attended some awareness classes or workshops or completed the Avalanche Rescue course, but none are a prerequisite for this course.

Aspiring professionals will need to take the AIARE 1 and Avalanche Rescue as a prerequisite for the Pro 1 course.

Prerequisites

Students must be able to travel in avalanche terrain and bring appropriate equipment for traveling on snow to class. Non-motorized backcountry travel equipment (AT skis, Telemark, Splitboard w/ skins) is required. Snow shoes and cross country skis are not allowed.

Students must be comfortable riding black diamond resort terrain in variable snow conditions and be prepared for strenuous uphill backcountry travel. THIS COURSE IS NOT FOR NOVICE SKIERS/SNOWBOARDERS!

This course will consist of online modules, a classroom session and field days in surrounding area mountains. Students will need to bring an avalanche transceiver, shovel, and probe.

Backcountry equipment required for this course can be rented from the USU Outdoor Programs rental shop. Please reserve this equipment in advance as quantities are limited.

This course is taught in partnership with American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education and is offered for USU academic credit through Kinesiology and Health Sciences.


AIARE LogoAvalanche 2

In the past the AIARE 2 was designed to be an entry level professional course.

The redesigned AIARE 2 is designed specifically to meet the needs of advanced recreational students who have taken an AIARE 1 and Avalanche Rescue class.

The AIARE 2 is a three-day/24-hour course that provides backcountry travelers an opportunity to advance their decision making skills in more complicated situations such as being a leader within a small travel group, traveling in more complicated terrain, and/or developing a travel plan where online resources are scarce.

The AIARE 2 builds on the introductory avalanche hazard management model introduced in the AIARE 1 and adds to it the evaluation of critical hazard assessment factors. Students will describe and discuss weather, snowpack and avalanche processes, and identify how these processes relate to observations and travel within avalanche terrain.

Who Should Take this Course

The AIARE 2 is a three-day course for those who have taken an AIARE 1, Avalanche Rescue and have had at least a year of backcountry travel experience. The AIARE 2 provides backcountry leaders the opportunity to advance their avalanche knowledge and decision making skills.

Prerequisites

  • Participants must have the ability to travel in avalanche terrain.
  • An AIARE 1 Course or equivalent Level 1 training.
  • A winter of practical experience after the Level 1 course before taking the AIARE 2 course. AIARE or AAA approved one-day Avalanche Rescue Course.

Non-motorized backcountry travel equipment (AT skis, Telemark, Splitboard w/ skins) is required. Snow shoes and cross country skis are not allowed.

Students must be comfortable riding black diamond resort terrain in variable snow conditions and be prepared for strenuous uphill backcountry travel. THIS COURSE IS NOT FOR NOVICE SKIERS/SNOWBOARDERS!

Backcountry equipment can be rented from the USU Outdoor Programs rental shop. Please reserve this equipment in advance as quantities are limited.

This course is taught in partnership with American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education and is offered for USU academic credit through Kinesiology and Health Sciences.

AIARE LogoAvalanche Rescue

AIARE Avalanche Rescue is a one-day stand alone course that is intended to be retaken on a regular basis in order to keep abreast of best practices in rescue techniques and gear. New participants will learn the basics of companion rescue, while return participants will expand their skill set with advanced topics and realistic scenario practice to help improve their skills after the course.

Each participant will have the opportunity to receive professional coaching on their rescue skills and will receive a rescue card acknowledging completion date at course end.

AIARE Avalanche Rescue is a prerequisite for the AIARE 2 and Pro 1 courses. AIARE recommends that all backcountry travelers keep their skills current by taking an Avalanche Rescue Course and receiving a rescue card at least every other year.

All students will have the opportunity to get feedback from an instructor on their rescue skills and timed practice with a realistic scenario.

Students who have previously taken an AIARE 1 or an Avalanche Rescue Course will find value in having a professional help them set up a realistic scenario, practice skills in a realistic setting, receive feedback from an instructor, keep up with current best practices, and have an opportunity to practice advanced rescue skills.

Who Should Take this Course

The Avalanche Rescue Course is a one-day course aimed both at new and experienced recreationists, and aspiring snow professionals.

Prerequisites

Students must be able to travel in the snow, and bring appropriate equipment for traveling on snow to class.

Backcountry equipment required for this course can be rented from the USU Outdoor Programs rental shop. Please reserve this equipment in advance as quantities are limited.

This course is taught in partnership with American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education and is offered for USU academic credit through Kinesiology and Health Sciences.

SSI Logo  Swiftwater Rescue (SRT-1)

The SRT-1 course is a 2.5 day, 24 hour course for professional river guides, USFS, NPS and BLM employees, recreational river runners or anyone finding themselves working on or near moving water that will teach valuable techniques in dealing with water hazards and emergencies. Students access online training modules two weeks prior to the start date of your course.

Course focus is on rescues with team members having limited rescue resources and communication with outside parties. This course is designed to meet varying student skill levels, and everyone from seasoned guides to recreational river runners will benefit from the rescue techniques covered in this course. Self rescue and hazard avoidance and recognition are key components in this swiftwater course. We teach basic technical rope systems, and then systematically remove hardware to increase the demand on the student to problem solve with limited resources. Designed for people working on or around rivers or running rivers privately, this course is a “must have” for anyone wishing to gain knowledge on river rescue techniques.

Offerings & Registration
Online Session Opens
Courses 1 & 2: 

Classroom Session
Course 1: 
Course 2: 

Field Sessions
Course 1: 
Course 2: 

Price
  • $275 (USU Students)
  • $375 (non-students)

What to Expect

Upon registration and payment, you will be automatically enrolled in the online training, and the online training will be accessible 14 days from the start date of your course. You will be automatically prompted to begin your online training via email two weeks prior to your course start date. All correspondence will be sent to the email you provided upon registration, and all online modules are presented in multi-media format.

Online Component

Once you receive your online invitation email you can start your online training. You have two weeks to complete the 3-4 hr training which consist of 19 training modules. Each module will be followed by a module exam, and you will be able to retake each exam as many times as necessary. You must pass each exam with a minimum score of 80% in order to gain access to the next module. You can start and stop at any time and your progress will be saved. This will help you be successful once you get to class.

Online Components:

  • Introduction to SSI
  • Course Description
  • Course Paperwork
  • COVID Best Management Practices
  • PPE
  • Rescue Equipment
  • Hand Signals
  • Hydrology
  • Swimming
  • Strainers
  • Throw Bagging
  • Shallow Water Crossings
  • Foot Entrapment
  • Load distribution
  • Knots
  • Anchors
  • Mechanical Advantage
  • Raft Flip Recovery
  • Tensioned Diagonals

Field Training

Expect to meet at the pre-determined course site at early afternoon on the first day. This day will be spent on land reviewing some of that basics that you were exposed to during the online component (e.g. knots, anchors, mechanical advantage, and on-land throw bagging). Your instructor will provide you with the student field manual and go over all necessary course paperwork. Day 2 and 3 involve a heavy hands-on approach with focus on training in the river and rapidly building your skill-set.

Prerequisites

  • Proficient swimmer
  • Physically capable
  • Desire to learn
  • All of the necessary PPE

This course is taught in partnership with the Swiftwater Safety Institute (SSI) and is offered for USU academic credit through Kinesiology and Health Sciences.

Swiftwater equipment required for this course can be rented from the USU Outdoor Programs rental shop. Please reserve this equipment in advance as quantities are limited.