Know Before You Go

A critical need exists for basic avalanche education for junior high through college age students in Utah. Just as students in Hawaii learn about the dangers of rip tides and shore breaks at an early age, students in Utah need to learn about avalanches. The rising numbers of young avalanche victims have demonstrated an obvious need for basic avalanche education. We hope the Know Before You Go avalanche education program will become a regular part of the curriculum in Utah schools.

This free program is designed as a 50-minute program in three parts:

  • A 15-minute, narrated video showing avalanches, people triggering avalanches and the destructive power of avalanches.
  • A local avalanche professional tells their story about close calls or accidents they have had as they learned about avalanches.
  • A 15-minute PowerPoint presentation about the basics of how to recognize avalanche terrain, recognize obvious signs of instability, safe travel practices, the basics of avalanche rescue equipment and self-rescue procedures, and where to obtain information about current avalanche conditions.


The Know Before You Go program is taught in participating schools as an annual assembly, to any gathering of younger outdoor enthusiasts such as Boy Scout troops or to outdoor recreation programs at universities. Local avalanche professionals such as ski patrollers, ski guides and avalanche educators give the presentations.

Since its inception five years ago, nearly 100,000 young adults statewide have attended a Know Before You Go presentation. We’re proud of the fact that no Utah student attending the program has been killed in avalanche.

To arrange to have this program for your school or group, contact:


[email protected]
Utah Avalanche Center
2242 West North Temple

Public Education & Awareness

Skills Seminar

Know Before You Go »

Program Responses