VERY IMPORTANT: Please scroll down to the Trip Information section to see the specific configuration for each course (including dates, mode of travel, day of week for classroom and field days, and in person versus Zoom classroom options). This 24-hour course is an introduction to managing avalanche hazard. You will learn how to use a repeatable process to manage your risk and learn from your experiences in the backcountry. You will also practice preparing for and carrying out a backcountry trip. The importance of record keeping, communicating, and making continuous decisions about hazards while in the backcountry will be demonstrated while in the field and you will learn rescue techniques if an avalanche occurs and someone is caught.
This 24-hour course is an introduction to managing avalanche hazard. You will learn how to use a repeatable process to manage your risk and learn from your experiences in the backcountry. You will also practice preparing for and carrying out a backcountry trip. The importance of record keeping, communicating, and making continuous decisions about hazards while in the backcountry will be demonstrated while in the field and you will learn rescue techniques if an avalanche occurs and someone is caught.
Who Should Take this Course?
AIARE 1 is for skiers and splitboarders who want to recreate in or near avalanche terrain. You should be able to travel off-trail on ungroomed or unmaintained terrain and bring appropriate equipment for traveling on snow, but there are no other prerequisites for this course.
AIARE 1 is a prerequisite for AIARE 2, as well as the Pro 1 course for aspiring avalanche professionals.
Our AIARE 1 avalanche course and our 3-Day Ski Touring course will teach you equally important yet very different skill sets. Our avalanche courses are designed to teach you to identify avalanche hazards and manage risk in the backcountry. Our ski touring course is a movement-based course designed to introduce you to the gear, skills, and knowledge necessary to move proficiently through the backcountry. In order to become a well-rounded backcountry traveler, we encourage you to take the ski touring course prior to taking an AIARE 1 course if you do not already have uphill experience. If you take the 3-Day Ski Touring Course and an AIARE 1 Avalanche Course in the same season, you will receive a 10% discount on each.
PLEASE READ THE FOLLOWING CAREFULLY BEFORE SIGNING UP FOR AN AIARE COURSE WITH US, AS WE HAVE NEW OFFERINGS THIS SEASON.
We are striving to have the best possible AIARE and touring courses for people of varying abilities. In order to do that, we are offering separate courses for upper intermediate skiers and splitboarders, advanced skiers and boarders only, and splitboarders only. In addition, for those ready to get out and mingle with people, we are offering two "in person" dates for the classroom portion of the course. We also offer AIARE 1 courses at Snoqualmie Pass. You will find all of the dates and options below in the "Trip Information" section. For all of our AIARE courses, you should have the physical fitness to be able to move uphill for at least 2000 feet of vertical per day. You should be familiar with your touring equipment and be proficient in uphill travel. Please take the time to read the downhill movement skill requirements for our AIARE 1 courses below. This will help you to sign up for the course that will best fit your skill level/mode of travel.
Skiers and splitboarders mixed AIARE course - The minimum requirement for all AIARE courses is a strong upper intermediate skiing or snowboarding ability in all types of terrain and conditions. The backcountry terrain on Snoqualmie Pass is challenging for splitboarders and the skill level has to be a bit higher still than for skiers. This means you are comfortable in ungroomed conditions in all types of snow (heavy, wet snow, powder, ice, breakable crust, etc). You should be able to make controlled turns in difficult, steep and tight terrain with any of the above mentioned snow conditions. It doesn't have to be pretty, but it should not cause stress. It is important to have had at least some practice with your touring equipment before taking this course. Again, this is not for the new or novice downhill skier or snowboarder; you should feel pretty dialed to ride anything downhill in your touring equipment and while carrying a pack.
Advanced skiers and splitboarders AIARE course — This course is for the strong downhill skier and snowboarder capable of riding all types of terrain and snow conditions with high confidence, speed, and endurance. This person has many years of skiing or boarding experience.
Why Take Your AIARE 1 with Us?
Our guides have some of the highest quality training and certification in the industry, and you can be sure that we have the permits, licenses and insurance in every location we operate. Our instructors have completed an AIARE Instructor Training Course and are members of the American Avalanche Association, and many of them are AMGA-certified guides, Wilderness First Responders, EMTs, and/or Leave No Trace educators. You always get a safe, high-quality trip or learning environment with us. You will travel and learn from experts. We've pioneered several alpine climbing routes, ski descents, and traverses and we've written books on backcountry skills and routes.
What You’ll Learn
During an AIARE 1 course, you’ll spend time learning these skills, both in a classroom setting and in the field:
|2023-2024 Dates||Schedule||Classroom Type||Mode of Travel|
|Dec 8-10||Fri Classroom; Sat/Sun Field Days||zoom||ski or splitboard|
|Jan 7-9||Sunday Classroom; Mon/Tue Field Days||zoom||ski or splitboard|
|Mar 5-10||Tu/Th Evening Classroom; Sat/Sun Field||zoom||advanced skier only|
Course Times/Dates. Please note the order of classroom and field days could change due to weather/snow/road conditions for the 3 consecutive day courses; plan to be available to potentially go into the field on a scheduled classroom day.
Please note that you will only see the START date for the course when you are booking. If the date shows 0 open spots, the course is sold out and you may opt to join the waitlist for that course. You may join as many waitlists as you like.
Overall Difficulty Level: Easy to Moderate
Skills Required: Solid intermediate skiing, snowboarding or snowshoeing skills; uphill travel proficiency (kick turns, etc.)
Fitness Level: Moderate
AIARE 1 SAMPLE CURRICULUM
Online/Zoom: usually 9:00-11:00am and 1:00-3:00pm OR two evening sessions 6:00-8:00pm
In Person: usually 8-4 full day (with lunch break) or two evening sessions 6:30-9:30pm
Day 2 - 1st field day - 8am-4pm
Day 3 - 2nd field day - 8am-4pm
Snow Travel Gear
Snow Study Equipment (required for AIARE Level 2 ONLY)
About two thirds of the time will be spent outside. The AIARE curriculum dictates two full field days.
Yes, we believe that the 3-day Ski Touring course works very well. This application and movement based ski touring course is a great compliment to the more principle-based AIARE course. This is why we offer a 10% discount on each course for anyone who signs up for both courses in the same season.
Although tipping is not a requirement, it is considered standard practice in the guiding industry and is appreciated by our guides. We generally recommend roughly 10%-15% of your course or trip cost or a flat amount that you are comfortable with.