Education; Avalanche Courses and Kite LessonsAlaska Avalanche Specialists

Bill Glude is an AAA (American Avalanche Association) instructor with over 45 years' experience teaching avalanche courses in Alaska and in Japan; and our second instructors are also AAA instructors and working avalanche professionals with similarly extensive experience. We are teaching industrial courses this winter, and may also schedule public training in Skagway. 

If you want to set up a custom course, organizers must handle signups and payment, and weneed to  schedule three-plus months in advance. Students will need their own gear, including beacon, probe, and shovel; and will need to get their own textbooks. It works best if the organizers do a group book order. Vaccination and current boosters will be required in all courses and trainings, no exceptions. A two-instructor course costs a flat $7,000. A Level 1 can have up to 14 students; Level 2 up to 12.

Our US avalanche courses meet and exceed the AAA guidelines for avalanche education quality, and the courses we teach in Japan follow the CAA (Canadian Avalanche Association) standards.

Bill is also an IKO (International Kite Organization) Level 1 Instructor for water kiting, and will be teaching in Alaska as his schedule allows. Bill teaches the IKO kite water progression as an IKO independent instructor, starting with short lines, to get you started using the best available equipment and teaching techniques.

You will find our avalanche and kiting course handouts, field resources, and useful links on the course handouts and resources page.

December 2023 - early March 2024

Avalanche Skills Training 1 and 2, and Companion Rescue Skills (English & Japanese)
Evergreen Outdoor Center, Hakuba, Nagano, Japan

Bill has usually taught a full season of these courses in Japan every winter. He's taking his Japan time this year to focus on writing a book on snow and avalanches, to reach a broader audience than in-person courses can, but Evergreen will still offer good courses.

We recommend taking the long CAA course that begins with the AST I with the CRS rescue module and continues for an additional three days as the AST II, which is combined with the MAT (Managing Avalanche Terain) course. You can do them together, or as two modules, with a break in between to practice and let the material from the first module soak in before continuing. Just be sure to do the second part; the first course alone teaches just enough to give you the false confidence to get into trouble, but not enough to change your behavior so you stay out of trouble! For signups, contact Evergreen well in advance.

Alaska Winter 2022 - 2023

Avalanche Courses in Alaska 

We have scheduled both Level 1 and 2 industrial crew trainings this winter. Bill is focusing on writing his book on snow and avalanches, because it can teach far more people than in-person courses can, but may also teach Level 1 in Skagway.   

Summer 2023

Kiteboarding Lessons
Juneau & Haines, Alaska

Sorry, but we can't do kiting lessons this summer. Bill fell off a cliff snowboarding last winter and has been hoping his injured neck would be okay by summer, but it is not. He is recovering, but too slowly to teach this summer. 

Our recommendations are to look up the folks who teach in Anchorage and Homer, or to try the operation at Jetty Island in Everett Washington, reachable through Urban Surf in Seattle. Or the one at Floras Lake in Oregon. You can learn in the Columbia Gorge too, though the teaching spit there is crowded and a bit challenging with current and traffic. The easiest place to learn is Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. I recommend Real Kiteboarding's three-day camps there; it is where I learned, and they were excellent! Maui is good too, though it lacks the shallows that make Hatteras so easy.        

We always have to start our water kite season late, as our instructor does avalanche work through into June every year.

We hope to be able to do snowkite teaching next winter, if Bill's neck recovers. He's doing avalanche work in Skagway in the winter, so you'd have to come there. Snowkiting is simpler than water kiting, learnable by an intermediate or advanced skier or snowboarder in a single two or three hour session. It's quick to get in a session on the local Juneau lakes if they freeze, and the only new gear you need to do it is a climbing harness and a kite! We can do that introduction to snowkiting session for only $149 per student.

.We are trying to move up to Skagway next summer, where the winds are steadier, and to be able to resume lessons and a kite camp as well.  

Most people begin with our short Introduction to Kiteboarding course, and add more lesson time as their time and budget permits.

Our rates are lower than most in the 48 states, and Alaskans save travel time and cost by learning here.

Our lessons include all gear, except for that you will need your own long johns and fleece to wear under our drysuit.

The Three-Hour Introduction to Kiteboarding is $199 per student. It is an ideal introduction to kiting. We spend some time on evaluating conditions for kiting spots, basic kite etiquette and risk management, flying the foil trainer, and rigging, then get you in the water to fly a full-sized kite on 10m lines, and practice the self-rescue and body drag techniques you need to kite safely.

The Six-Hour Introduction and Riding lesson is $449. If you want to be up and riding, and have all the body drags, self rescue, and water starts down, this gets you there. You can follow up with more lessons to learn to ride upwind, turn, and jump after you have some time to practice those basic skills.

Kiting lessons by the hour are $95 per student per hour, including gear rental, for one to three students. If you commit to at least ten hours of lessons, the rate drops to $80 per hour.

 

To get the most out of your course, be sure to study the Water and Snow Kite Risk Management and Key Skills handout on our Course Resources page beforehand, and spend some time flying a trainer.

You should also study the beginner kiting DVDs. We like Real Kiteboarding's series, but their Zero to Hero beginner video needs updating to reflect current gear and teaching techniques. Still, it and the excellent Evolution DVD cover the material of a beginner lesson series in an interesting and user-friendly format. The Progression Kiteboarding - Beginner DVD covers the same material in a very thorough and current format, but some of the explanations drag and the videography and editing is uninspired. We recommend moving through the main topics one by one, saving the detailed subsections on stance and common problems for later study.

Contact us for signups and more information.

All photos, text, and images on this website are © Bill Glude unless otherwise noted.