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 course is an introduction to managing avalanche hazard PLUS an extra field day to gain a deeper understanding of terrain management and winter backcountry travel skills. 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. The extra field day ensures that you will have ample time to review and practice all of the information and skills.
This AIARE 1 Plus course is an introduction to managing avalanche hazard PLUS an extra field day. 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, keeping track of, communicating, and making decisions about hazards while in the backcountry, and learn rescue techniques if an avalanche occurs and someone is caught.
Why Take Your AIARE 1 Plus with PGS?
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.
Who Should Take this Course?
The AIARE 1 Plus is for any skier or splitboarder who wants to recreate in or near avalanche terrain. This course is for people who enjoy movement-based learning. Because this course incorporates a third field day, you should be physically fit enough to do 3 backcountry tour days in a row. 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.
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.
Our AIARE 1 Plus 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 Plus Avalanche Course in the same season, you will receive a 10% discount on each.
This AIARE 1 Plus course is offered at Snoqualmie Pass only.
AIARE 1 is a prerequisite for AIARE 2, as well as the Pro 1 course for aspiring avalanche professionals.
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:
|Mode of Travel
|Wed Eve Classroom; Fri/Sa/Su Field
|Ski or Splitboard
|Wed Eve Classroom; Fri/Sa/Su Field
|Ski or Splitboard
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 COURSE CURRICULUM
Day 1 Online/Zoom: one evening session 6:00 - 8:00pm
Days 2/3/4 Field Days: at Snoqualmie Pass 8am-4pm
Snow Travel Gear
Snow Study Equipment (required for AIARE Level 2 ONLY)
There will be only one 2-hour Zoom session. AIARE guidelines require two field days, but we are incorporating three full field days.
Yes, we believe that the 3-day Ski Touring course would work 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.