8:00 a.m. Course Location
We will meet at 8:00AM the morning of our field sessions at or near the course venue. Your instructor will provide detailed directions to the meeting point in a pre-trip email the Monday prior to your course. Please be aware that the course venue may be forced to change due to weather, conditions, or road closures.
Transportation is not provided. You will need snow tires or chains to travel to your field session venue. If you are renting a car, please be aware that most car rental agencies do not permit you to use chains with their vehicles.
Winter Travel Advisory
Mountain road and mountain pass conditions can change dramatically over the course of a day. Please check the WSDOT website for conditions reports. Participants are responsible to ensure their vehicle meets WSDOT travel standards which could include required snow tires, chains, and/or AWD or 4WD. We strongly encourage participants to carpool when possible.
Mount Baker Courses
Between November 1 and May 1, all vehicles on Hwy 542 up to Heather Meadows are required to carry tire chains. This requirement applies to all vehicle types in all weather and road conditions. Weather on Hwy 542 is notoriously quick to change, and sudden storms can appear with little or no warning. Please check the WSDOT website for current condition reports.
Snoqualmie Pass Courses
For courses at Snoqualmie Pass, chains/all weather tires are encouraged but not typically required unless mandated by the Washington Department of Transportation. Please be sure to check the WSDOT Twitter feed for the latest information.
Stevens Pass Courses
For courses at Stevens Pass, chains/all weather tires are encouraged but not typically required unless mandated by the Washington Department of Transportation. Please be sure to check the WSDOT Twitter feed for the latest information.
Crystal Mountain Courses
For courses at Crystal Mountain, chains/all weather tires are encouraged but not typically required unless mandated by the Washington Department of Transportation. Please be sure to check the WSDOT Twitter feed for the latest information.
AIARE Online Curriculum
We’re excited to offer pre-course online curriculum to complement your AIARE I. You will be sent these online learning materials upon registration for your course.
Additional Online Resources
Prior to your course, we recommend becoming familiar with your local avalanche forecast center. In Washington, we are fortunate to have the North West Avalanche Center. If you are unsure of your local avalanche center, Avalanche.org can help you find the nearest avalanche center.
Interactive Online Educational Resources
- Know Before You Go
- Rescue at Cherry Bowl
- Snow Fall – The Avalanche at Tunnel Creek
- Avalanche Education Tutorial
Your instructor team will outline detailed logistics on meeting time and location for the field sessions in a pre-trip email on the Monday prior to your course. Please plan on the field session starting at 8am and running until 5pm. It is critical you arrive prepared with the required equipment. If you have any equipment questions please reach out to [email protected].
Please be aware that the course venue may be forced to change due to weather, conditions, or road closures.
Having the proper equipment is essential for backcountry travel. Link back to your gear list:
Many of these items are available to rent through Alpine Ascents’ Gear Department. If you plan to rent from us, you can pick up gear during business hours (9am-4:30pm) on Thursday or Friday before your course.
Students need to bring their own lunches for the field training day. It’s a long day, so please plan to bring about 1,000 calories of food. Here’s a sample lunch pack:
• Cold pizza, fresh sandwich, or burrito
• Bagel with meat & cheese
• Piece of fresh fruit
• Trail mix
• A bakery cookie
• Small bag of chips or similar salty snack
• Cold drink mix for your water
A training course such as this requires a much higher energy expenditure on a daily basis than what you may be used to. Eating well and frequently not only sustains energy levels but also keeps positive morale and attitude. By nature, mountains have periods of inclement weather and it is important that caloric intake be high and regular to help avoid hypothermia and other cold weather or altitude-related problems.
Alpine Ascents International practices Leave No Trace principles on all expeditions. We believe that given the proper information most people will do all they can to help protect and maintain the environment. Please Visit:
7 Principles of Leave No Trace
As guides, we spend time teaching the environmentally appropriate Leave No Trace principals and practices. There is nothing more beautiful than working hard to get high into the mountains, come upon a pristine campsite, witness incredible views and have the feeling that no one has been there before.
Conversely, there is nothing more disheartening than working hard to climb a mountain, reaching a site and encountering trash, food waste and toilet paper. Please read the seven LNT principles, and call the office if you have any questions about what you can do to plan ahead.
Guides are permitted to accept and greatly appreciate tips. An average tip for the guide team is $25 – 50.
Please be aware that we are unable to process tips by card. You are welcome to tip your guides with cash or via mobile payment such as Venmo or PayPal.
Upon successfully completing your Avalanche Rescue Course, you will have a permanent account with AIARE. In the weeks after your course, you will receive an email directly from AIARE with your account login information. This login will give you access to your course certificate. If you have not received that email within 30 days of course completion, please email [email protected].
While we cannot eliminate the risk of exposure to COVID-19, we do carry out a variety of measures designed to mitigate the risk of illness for climbers and staff. It is important we work together with the same team-oriented perspective we rely on in climbing, and we greatly appreciate your partnership. Please take a few moments to thoroughly read the information below and know that we look to update our operation as additional information about the virus becomes available.
If you experience fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea please immediately contact Alpine Ascents. Anyone experiencing these symptoms within 5 days of their trip date will be asked to reschedule their trip. All climbers are verbally screened for these symptoms on arrival to Alpine Ascents, and all staff are screened daily.
Vaccinations & Testing
We highly recommend all climbers attending this program to be vaccinated against COVID-19. All climbers will share tents and communal spaces.
Face masks are optional. We recommend using a face mask while traveling and inside buildings and vehicles.
From India Trek: When Gordon announced an exploratory trip with trekking, I made the decision to participate. From beginning to end it was a dream come true. The sights, sounds, people, food, and majestic landscape were truly an incredible experience.