Originally Posted by killclimbz
To be honest, if you are just riding at the Silverton Ski area, avalanche training is not really needed. I know they "require" you to have avalanche gear and have a working knowledge of it. Have they ever had an avalanche at the ski area that has taken out guests? Nope. That is because it's controlled just like any other ski area. What they planned on doing and what really happened are two different things. Plus if you are not there during the shoulder seasons you're being guided. They are not going to take you to any spot that has any sort of real avalanche threat. Of course a slide could happen, but it's the same chance as you'd have one happening at Breck. Not to dissuade you at all. Learning how to read avalanche terrain is an awesome skill to have.
I was going to go with a guide, so I'm sure that increases safety substantially. My rationale was that if they require avalanche gear, I should be very well versed with it before I decide to do any trips. Maybe I won't go for the certification, but I would definitely like to attend a Friends of Berthoud Pass Class and potentially catch some turns with experienced riders.