Snow near summit of Williams Peak.For those wanting to venture into the backcountry this winter, now is a prime time to plan to take an avalanche safety course at Colorado Mountain College. Both lecture and field classes are filling up quickly in preparation for the winter season.

Colorado Mountain College’s locations in Edwards, Breckenridge, Leadville, Aspen, Glenwood Springs-Spring Valley and Steamboat Springs are offering avalanche classes, courses and/or workshops that can teach backcountry recreationists how to recognize and avoid dangerous terrain and unstable snow conditions.

Students can take their knowledge as far as they’d like to go, from learning how to make sound personal decisions about traveling in winter environments, to – at CMC in Breckenridge, Leadville, Spring Valley or Steamboat Springs – earning a certificate or degree in outdoor education.

Registration is underway for spring semester and many classes start Jan. 12; others begin throughout the semester. Contact your local campus to find out more, as well as to learn whether specific avalanche safety classes are credit or noncredit. Note that some avalanche safety classes are already full to capacity. Go to to search for course availability.