Pro Guiding Service
Domestic & International Trips & Courses with Professionally Trained Mountain Guides
Trip

AIARE 1 Avalanche Course - Snoqualmie Pass

Overview

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.  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).

 

$550 Per Person
3 Days
Difficulty
Ratio:
6:1, 12:2

Trip Information

$550
Price based on 6 students per instructor. 425-888-6397 x2 | info@proguiding.com

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 anyone, regardless of their method of backcountry travel, who wants 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. 

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, splitboarders only and snowshoers 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 Crystal Mountain.  You will find all of the dates and options below in the "Trip Information" section. For all our our AIARE courses, you should have the physical fitness to be able to move uphill for at least 2000 feet of vertical per day. Please take the time to read the 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.

Splitboard only AIARE course —Same standard as the above mixed course. Please have a lot of familiarity with your backcountry set-up before signing up for this. We are working on getting more split-board guides, but be aware your instructor may be on skis, but will have knowledge of finding the best routes for splitboarders and some knowledge of your gear. This course is offered at Crystal Mountain only.

Snowshoe only AIARE course — For non-skiers or those very new to skiing who would like to learn avalanche safety. You must be on snowshoes for this course. We are not allowing snowshoers in our other AIARE courses. If these dates don’t work, consider getting a group of 6 together to set up a private course.

Be sure you sign up for the course you want--check courses and dates in the "Trip Information" section below.  Only the first day of the course will be shown after clicking the red VIEW DATES & AVAILABILITY button.

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 (at least) 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: 

  • A repeatable process for managing risk in the winter backcountry
  • Identifying avalanche hazard
  • Developing a plan for travel in avalanche terrain
  • Identifying avalanche terrain
  • Build habits to maintain awareness, communicate with your group, and make decisions 
  • Learn and practice avalanche rescue skills

 

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.

 

2022-2023 Dates Schedule Classroom Type Mode of Travel
Dec 16-18 Fri Classroom; Sat/Sun Field Zoom Ski or Splitboard
Dec 20-22 Tues Classroom; Wed/Th Field Zoom Ski or Splitboard
Dec 26-29 Mon/Tue Eve Classroom; Wed/Th Field Zoom Ski or Splitboard
Dec 27-31 Tue/Th Eve Classroom; Fri/Sat Field Zoom Snowshoe only
Jan 2-4 Mon Classroom; Tue/Wed Field Zoom Ski or Splitboard
Jan 3-8 Tue/Th Eve Classroom; Sat/Sun Field Zoom Ski or Splitboard
Jan 9-13 Mon/Wed Eve Classroom; Th/Fri Field Zoom Ski or Splitboard
Jan 14-16 Sat Classroom; Sun/Mon Field In Person Ski or Splitboard
Jan 15-17 Sun Classroom; Mon/Tue Field Zoom Ski or Splitboard
Jan 17-22 Tue/Th Eve Classroom; Sat/Sun Field Zoom Advanced Ski/Board Only
Jan 23-26 Mon/Tue Eve Classroom; Wed/Th Field Zoom Ski or Splitboard
Jan 24-29 Tue/Th Eve Classroom; Sat/Sun Field Zoom Ski or Splitboard
Feb 4-6 Sat Classroom; Sun/Mon Field Zoom Advanced Ski/Board Only
Feb 7-12 Tue/Th Eve Classroom; Sat/Sun Field In Person Ski or Splitboard
Feb 18-20 Sat Classroom; Sun/Mon Field Zoom Ski or Splitboard
Feb 21-24 Tue/Wed Eve Classroom; Th/Fri Field Zoom Ski or Splitboard
Feb 25-27 Sat Classroom; Sun/Mon Field Zoom Ski or Splitboard
Feb 28-Mar 5 Tu/Th Eve Classroom; Sat/Sun Field Zoom Snowshoe only
Mar 11-13 Sat Classroom; Sun/Mon Field Zoom Ski or Splitboard
Mar 13-19 Mon/Wed Eve Classroom; Sat/Sun Field Zoom Ski or Splitboard
Mar 21-26 Tu/Th Eve Classroom; Sat/Sun Field Zoom 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.

Duration: 3
Ratio: 6:1, 12:2
Difficulty Level:
Click here to learn more about difficulty ratings.

Overall Difficulty Level: Easy to Moderate
Skills Required: Solid intermediate skiing, snowboarding or snowshoeing skills
Fitness Level: Moderate


Private Trips Available

Pro Guiding Service proudly offers the most diverse ski touring and ski mountaineering programs of any guiding service in the Northwest.
Learn MoreView Dates & Availability

Itinerary

AIARE  1 SAMPLE COURSE CURRICULUM

Day 1

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

  •  Welcome/Introductions
  •  What is AIARE?
  •  Course objectives and goals
  •  Case study
  •  Theme of course – Introduction to Decision Making Framework
  •  Avalanche Types and Characteristics
  •  Avalanche Terrain
  •  Planning and Preparation
  •  Avalanche forecasts
  •  Telemetry
  •  Maps and navigation
  •  Information gathering
  •  Human factors
  •  Equipment
  •  Avalanche Danger Scale
  •  Observations and Clue Gathering
  •  Creation of Layers in the Mountain Snowpack

 

Day 2 - 1st field day - 8am-4pm

  • Common errors and The Human Factor
  • Terrain Selection and Travel Technique
  • Introduction to transceivers (function check, battery check)
  • Introduction to companion rescue
  • Single burial rescue
  • Active tests
  • Demonstration of travel techniques
  • Terrain identification
  • Terrain red flag identification
  • Terrain management

 

Day 3 - 2nd field day - 8am-4pm

  • More Active tests
  • Slope angle, aspect, elevation
  • Layering
  • Compression test
  • Companion Rescue - single burial, shoveling techniques, probing techniques
  • Rescue scenario
  • Course review/debrief
  • Course evaluations
  • Question and answer

Private Trips

Pro Guiding Service proudly offers the most diverse ski touring and ski mountaineering programs of any guiding service in the Northwest. Smaller, more intimate custom itineraries or instructional tours are available for any of our destinations. Tell us what you want to do, and we can create a customized plan for you.
View Private Trips

Pricing

$550
per person
Price based on 6 students per instructor. 425-888-6397 x2 | info@proguiding.com
View Dates & Availability
Payment Policy
If booking a domestic trip that is over 30 days away or an international trip that is over 60 days away, you can book your trip by paying a 20% deposit.  View Full Policy
Cancellation Policy
If you cancel for any reason 30 or more days before domestic trips or 60 or more days before international and Alaska trips, we will refund everything you have paid minus half of your deposit. No refunds will be provided if you cancel your trip for ANY REASON (this includes but is not limited to illness including CoVid-19, injury, or work-related issues) within 30 days of the start of domestic trips or 60 days of international and Alaska based trips.  View Full Policy

Equipment List

Clothing
Base Layer
  • Lightweight or midweight top (avoid cotton)
  • Lightweight or midweight long underwear bottoms, may omit depending on the warmth of your pants
  • Warm socks
Mid Layer
  • Fleece or wool or similar warmth layer
  • Wind shirt or soft shell jacket - wind & water resistant, breathable
Outerwear
  • Waterproof/breathable jacket with hood
  • Ski/snowboard pants - either softshell or waterproof pants are acceptable
  • Waterproof pants - necessary in warmer temps if your ski pants are not waterproof - ensure you can get them on/off over your boots (full side zips ideal)
  • Down or synthetic puffy-type jacket
  • Warm hat - should cover ears
  • Sun hat - baseball type or visor
  • Lightweight gloves
  • Ski gloves or mittens
  • A 3rd pair of gloves - recommended for temps above freezing because your gloves will get wet (lightweight or midweight)
Personal Gear
  • Day pack – large enough to fit everything inside (around 30 liters) - dedicated shovel pocket preferred
  • Water bottles - enough for a full day - wide mouth best to prevent freezing shut, hydration systems are okay if the temps are going to be above freezing
  • Lunch and snacks - enough for a full day
  • Sunglasses - adequate for snow travel
  • Goggles
  • Sunscreen - SPF 25+, waterproof
  • Lip Balm - SPF 15+
  • Face mask/covering - for when closer contact is required during training
Technical Gear

Snow Travel Gear

  • Snow travel equipment - alpine touring or telemark skis, splitboard, or snowshoe
    • Make sure you are proficient at using this gear prior to the course!
  • Boots - touring ski boots, snowboard boots, or winter hiking boots (if snowshoeing)
  • Poles - adjustable poles are ideal so you can adjust the length when going uphill/downhill
  • Climbing skins - if using skis or splitboard
  • Ski brakes or removable ski leashes

Safety Gear

  • Avalanche Beacon
  • Shovel - compact, lightweight, metal blade preferred
  • Probe - dedicated probe only (240cm or longer strongly recommended)

Snow Study Equipment (required for AIARE Level 2 ONLY)

  • Snow saw - longer saws are better for stability tests
  • Snow crystal ID card - black and metal preferred

 

Optional Items
  • Basic snow study kit - dial stem thermometer(s), crystal card, magnifying loupe, ruler
  • Notebook and writing utensil
  • Thermos - with a hot drink
  • Compass - adjustable declination a must
  • Altimeter watch
  • Maps - contact guiding office for appropriate quadrangles
  • Map case - large Ziploc bags work well
  • Camera
  • Hand sanitizer
Equipment Sales & Rental

Gearing Up Adventurers Since 1999 

Be prepared for every adventure by visiting our sister business—Pro Ski and Mountain Service. Order online or visit us in store in North Bend, Washington. Check out our discounts on rentals and purchases when you book a trip or course with us.
10% Off purchases and 20% Off rentals for Pro Guiding Service guests
Visit Shop

FAQs

How much time will we be spending indoors versus in the field?

About two thirds of the time will be spent outside.  AIARE guidelines require two full field days.

Is there another course that work well in conjunction with the AIARE Level one course?

Yes, we believe that the Intro to 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.

Should I tip my guide?

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.

Do you offer private AIARE 1 courses?

Yes!  However, we will only offer the courses when they are full.  We define full as the maximum student to guide ratio of 6:1 or 12:2.  Therefore, you would have to pay for 6 spots (at our advertised price) even if you have less people.  Feel free to get a group together and give us a call or send us an email to find dates that work!

Why Book With Us? 

Certified Professional Guides & All Access
All of our guides have 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.
Safe, Well-Planned Tour Design
Every tour has a carefully thought-out guide-to-customer ratio. You always get a safe, high-quality trip or learning environment with us.
Pioneers In The Industry
You will travel and learn from experts. We've pioneered several alpine climbing routes, ski descents, and traverses and we've written books on skills and routes in the industry. 
Read Our story
Resources

Plan Your Trip

Loading Booking...

Related Adventures

Newsletter

Get The Latest Updates On Mountaineering News & Upcoming Trips

©2022 Pro Guiding Services