The Mountain Institute

Snow science kit

 This is intended to be used as a reference and recommendation for various items. Most all-in-one kits have a bunch of cheap stuff them.

Snow crystal card

Plastic vs Metal… metal may melt snow crystals faster when in the sun or on warm days.

a clear blue snow crystal card may also make for better pictures of your snow grains

Snowmetrics snow crystal card

BCA snow crystal card

Magnifiers & Loupes

There are some really cheap magnifiers and loupes out there. Don’t rush to buy one and if you do, go for the quality.

snow metrics LumiLoupe 15


Carson 17.5x Stand Magnifier Lumi Loupe


Digital or analog?

There are pros and cons to each. If you go digital, it may be easier and faster to read. When using two, make sure they are calibrated to each other. 

Brooks Range Digital Thermometer

REED R2000 Digital Stem Thermometer

Cooper Atkins-DFP450W Digital Pocket Thermometer


There are a lot of books provided by courses. These are great for initial instruction and learning. Most will convert over to a simple rite in the rain notebook to write things how they want.

Rite in the Rain All-Weather Stapled Notebook, 4 5/8″ x 7″

Silverton Avalanche School store

Folding ruler

White rulers match the white snow you are working in…just saying

Rutschblock cord

Metal cords will wreck your avalanche probe

Most pre-made cords are expensive

10ft of 2mm or 3mm cord from a local gear shop or online will save you money. 

Get a bright color so you don’t lose it in your snowpit!