RIDGE's Mountain Classroom

By: RIDGE Coach Burket Kniveton

RIDGE Education takes many different forms throughout the semester. Our ability to base our classrooms outside, in Montana's Rocky Mountains, is one of the defining aspects of RIDGE's unique approach to education.

 RIDGE is located near the Rocky Mountains in Whitefish, MT, the perfect Mountain Classroom. 

RIDGE is located near the Rocky Mountains in Whitefish, MT, the perfect Mountain Classroom. 

So far this semester, student athletes have completed avalanche level 1 training, they have completed a large portion of the college level mountain studies course, and they have begun their Wilderness first aid training.

A recent mountain studies assignment required student athletes to use Google Earth and newly acquired knowledge of terrain to map avalanche paths in the Whitefish area. The student athletes have also been gaining experience measuring slope angles on topographic maps and using a traditional compass for backcountry navigation.

 RIDGE Student athletes using Google Earth to map avalanche paths.

RIDGE Student athletes using Google Earth to map avalanche paths.

All RIDGE student athletes completed the avalanche level 1 training at the start of the semester. This certification verifies that the students are competent in the basics of avalanche rescue techniques and that they are able to recognize obvious hazards while backcountry skiing.

 RIDGE Student athletes and coaches meeting during the Avalanche level 1 training.

RIDGE Student athletes and coaches meeting during the Avalanche level 1 training.

The RIDGE Wilderness Medicine course is approximately halfway complete. Student athletes have learned how to assess patients and to recognize life threatening emergencies. The student athletes will continue to work through more complex wilderness medicine scenarios in the coming weeks


RIDGE student athletes will continue to develop their wilderness first aid skills, their avalanche awareness and their knowledge of mountain geography throughout the semester.