AIARE Level 1 Avalanche Course Itinerary
Our program includes AIARE online education training. This online training allows students to move at their own pace, learning about the avalanche phenomenon prior to the field sessions of the course. The online education generally takes 4-6 hours and can be completed at any time prior to the course.
Virtual Classroom Session
You will have a Zoom meeting with your course instructor and other students from 6-8PM PST two days prior to your first field day. If you are scheduled for weekend field sessions, for example, your Zoom meeting will be held on Thursday evening. During this virtual classroom session, you instructor will cover additional education topics, answer questions from the online curriculum, and prepare the class for the field portion of the course.
Field sessions will run from 8am-5pm in the backcountry. You should arrive with everything on the gear list, prepared to spend full days in the field. Bring lunch, high energy snacks, and two full water bottles. During the weeknight Zoom session, your instructor will clearly outline the meeting time and location.
For courses at Mount Rainier: Alpine Ascents will provide transportation from Ashford, WA to the Paradise trailhead in Mount Rainier National Park.
Field Day 1– 8am-5pm
The instructor team will lead a discussion analyzing the avalanche forecast and how to apply it to the tour plan for the day. In the field, participants will become familiar with observing avalanche factors, techniques of avalanche rescue, snowpack profile practice (digging pits), and traveling safely in the backcountry.
Field Day 2– 8am-5pm
We will review the avalanche forecast and create detailed tour plans for backcountry travel. During the day participants will travel in small groups, executing their tour plans and refining lessons learned from the previous days.
The quality of the course was amazing. I’ve previously done Baker and Rainier, with also having done intermediate and advanced ice climbing courses, and this was by far the best instruction. Definitely feel prepared for Denali.