Education; Avalanche Courses and Kite Lessons

Bill Glude is an AAA (American Avalanche Association) instructor with over 40 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 teach two-instructor courses and crew trainings in Alaska as our industrial work schedule permits. Course organizers must handle signups and payment, and courses must be scheduled three to six 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. 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 2021 - early March 2022

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

We usually do a full season of these courses in Japan every winter. Evergreen will offer them this year, but the slowness of both countries in requiring and providing vaccinations is keeping me from traveling. I am spending another winter at home in Alaska.

As to the Evergreen 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 we combine with the MAT (Managing Avalanche Terain) course. These courses in Japan are through Evergreen Backcountry Guides with Bill Glude of AAS assisting (in most years) Evergreen owner Dave Enright and staff. For signups, contact Evergreen well in advance.

Alaska Winter 2021 - 2022

Avalanche Courses in Alaska 

We are holding off on scheduling public courses, but are doing some custom crew trainings this winter, and may add public courses if the virus is under control by spring. Vaccination will be required in all courses and trainings, no exceptions. 


Spring and Summer 2022

Kiteboarding Lessons
Juneau & Haines, Alaska

Due to the pandemic, we will not be doing kiteboard training before the summer of 2022. Once unviversal vaccination is required and the virus is under control, we will start teaching again. 

We won't be able to do snowkite teaching this winter, 2021-22 either, due to the lack of universal vaccination requirements. Snowkiting is simpler than water kiting, learnable by an intermediate or advanced skier or snowboarder in a single two or three hour session, without the close work that we have to do in water kiting. It's quick to get in a session on the local lakes, 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 aren't doing the Demo Days at Haines Fair in July any more, and had to skip 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic, but are usually there and available to teach indroductory lessons if wind and timing work. If you really want to learn water kiting, we teach water kiting lessons in Juneau, but we really recommend a Kite Camp format in Haines, where winds are far more reliable than in Juneau.

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.

If you really want to learn to kite, we teach water kiting lessons in a three-to-four-day kite camp format in Haines, where the winds are more reliable in summer than Juneau. We work out dates as people who are interested contact us. Plan on 12-15 hours to get to being a self-sufficient kiter, at the $80 per hour package rate, plus a $225 flat fee to cover the cost of bringing our truck and gear up there and back.

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.