The Program

ISTA is an international, progressive avalanche awareness training program for backcountry enthusiasts.

4 fundamental pillars build the ISTA concept:

1. Speak a universal language within our community – worldwide.
2. Keep learning a progressing through the certification levels regardless of what ISTA location you practice your sport in
3. Know your mind and body using the Human Factor Self-Assessment (HFSA®) tool before you start a project
4. Stay within the boundaries of pleasure and freedom (BEFORE) and avoid trouble (DURING and AFTER) using the BDA® system

BEFORE: Acquire knowledge and skills, understand how to prevent and manage risk
DURING: React effectively in an avalanche situation
AFTER: Manage a crisis positively and successfully

International expertise united to design our courses

Our courses have been developed by over 40 Experts from 9 countries and 3 continents.
These experts are specialists from Education, Sport Psychology, Pedagogy, Knowledge Transmission, Nutrition, Meteorology, Snow Science, Risk Management, Research Methods
Snow Professionals and Mountain Guides, all of whom share a common passion for the mountains.

An easy accessible and progressive teaching method centered around the human being

The ISTA teaching method is accessible to all and designed to allow individuals to progress through the levels as they desire.
The training method is human-centered and combines theory with practice. Participants keep their course material with them during practical exercises.
The program is intended to balance skill development and pleasure by providing participants with a fun and active learning experience.

Striking course material and books to foster learning

All ISTA courses are supported by illustrated books. They contain simple, clear, precise and hands-on explanations.
All course material is available in 4 languages: English, French, German and Italian.

A selection of best mentors and instructors to develop your skills

All our courses are taught by IFMGA (UIAGM) and AIARE mountain guides and certified ski instructors who have accomplished a ISTA certification training.
Today, ISTA has certified 40 mentors and over 546 mountain guides and ski instructors in Switzerland and in Europe.

A unique network of strategic partners to reward your efforts

In collaboration with a selected group of strategic partners in the tourism and sports industry, ISTA desires to establish an international quality label. Once certified, participants will have access to exclusive offers which will reward their efforts (gear, travel and tourism).