AIARE Level 1 Avalanche Safety Course

Level 1 Avalanche Safety Course Overview

Greatly enjoyed my course! My guides clearly had years of experience and training, mixed with a passion for teaching others!   They guided us while also empowering the group to learn leadership skills ourselves. They created an environment where everyone felt welcome and willing to share when they felt vulnerable or scared.

Understanding avalanches and their dangers is a must for any climber, skier, or backcountry enthusiast. We offer avalanche education courses following the established curriculum of the American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education (AIARE). Our courses take place in the heart of the Pacific Northwest on Mount Rainier, Mount Baker, Stevens Pass, and Snoqualmie Pass, Washington.

This comprehensive 24-hour course introduces students to the necessary decision-making tools for managing risk while traveling in avalanche terrain. It is designed for all individuals recreating on snow in the mountains whether skiing, split-boarding, snowshoeing, climbing, or mountaineering.

Excellent instructor and provided opportunities to confirm understanding and has great relevant experiences to share that drive the point home.  The instructor made the weekend educational and fun!

Our AIARE avalanche education program is comprised of a flexible online curriculum coupled with a Zoom meeting with instructors, followed by two field sessions in the backcountry. It is the same curriculum as the standard three-day course, with the classroom portions occurring online, allowing participants to learn at their own pace without missing a day of work or school.

During the field sessions of this course, students receive hands-on experience making decisions in avalanche terrain and practice with avalanche rescue skills. Our courses are offered at a six to one student-instructor ratio.

Make the most of your backcountry touring education this winter by bundling our Level 1 Avalanche Course with the Intro to Backcountry Touring course for $975! Save $200 with this deal and enrich your Level 1 Avalanche Course with more helpful techniques for proficient backcountry travel. Together these programs give students all the necessary skills to travel in simple to challenging backcountry terrain with team members of equal or greater training.

Alpine Ascents and AIARE – American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education

Alpine Ascents is proud to partner with The American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education (AIARE) to provide avalanche education courses. AIARE is a nonprofit established in 1998 specializing in development of avalanche education curriculum. AIARE’s mission is to save lives through education for recreationalists and professionals. Our instructors are certified by AIARE to teach avalanche education.

Online Curriculum

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. With this preparation, students can use the two days with instructors to dive further into avalanche theory and work closely on decision making in the field. The online education generally takes 4-6 hours and can be completed at any time prior to the course. We will also be hosting a 2-hour Zoom meeting with the instructors on the Tuesday prior to the field sessions from 7 – 9PM PST to go over additional education topics, answer any questions, and prepare for the field portion of the course.  If you are registered for a SheJumps course, the Zoom meeting will be on Wednesday from 7 – 9PM PST.

Level 1 Avalanche Safety Course Objectives

This course has been successfully used for educating skiers, snowboarders, split-boarders, snowshoe travelers, climbers, and mountaineers around the world.

Course will cover:

  • Understanding the avalanche phenomenon
  • Mountain weather
  • Identifying avalanche terrain
  • Reading and applying local avalanche forecast
  • Avalanche companion rescue
  • Understanding snowpack observations
  • Traveling techniques in avalanche terrain
  • How to prepare for backcountry travel

Students will come away with the tools to:

  • Plan and facilitate making decisions in the backcountry
  • Create and execute a tour plan for traveling in the backcountry
  • Find relevant current avalanche forecast resources
  • Efficiently identify avalanche terrain

Reading List

This is our highly recommended shortlist. We would be happy to pass along a longer reading list for those interested. These links will bounce to Amazon.com with reviews.

Staying Alive in Avalanche Terrain
Bruce Tremper, Mountaineers Books
The Avalanche Handbook
Peter Schaerer and David McClung, Mountaineers Books
Snow Sense
Jill Fredston and Doug Fesler

This was a fantastic trip and experience. My daughter and I found the overall effort to be professional, organized and very supportive. Not sure how it would be done better. Our guide did an excellent job. His experience was obvious in both terms of the climb and in managing the group.

Photo courtesy of Ruby Mountain Heli-Ski
Photo courtesy of Ruby Mountain Heli-Ski

AIARE Level 1 Avalanche Safety Course BLOG

  • The Importance of Avalanche Education

    Submission by Trevor Husted  The memory is vivid, it started with a hollow thump that turned into a heavy roar. The sound dissipated as quickly as it started and when our group of backcountry splitboarders arrived at the ridge we looked over to the next slope and saw that the whole slope of snow had […]

  • Backcountry Tour Planning Webinar & Trip Planning Tools

    When conditions are prime for winter backcountry adventure, it’s easy to get caught up in the stoke and overlook essential pre-trip preparation in a rush to get on the skin track. In this webinar, guide and backcountry powder chaser, Elias Zane Holt, lays out how to plan a successful and safe trip into the mountains, […]

  • Learning to Lead: Taking the Next Step with SheJumps AIARE 2

    by Alicia Mau As we made our way up the steep, northeast facing slope it became increasingly more difficult to sidehill. The wind scoured snow morphed into ice and my gloved fingers gripped my poles a bit tighter with every slip of my ski edge. We hoped switching to bootpacking would get us the rest […]

Partners & Accreditations

Alpine Ascents International is an authorized mountain guide service of Denali National Park and Preserve and Mount Rainier National Park.
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