During the 2020/2021 season, it only made sense to alter our avalanche education program to help mitigate the risks of spreading COVID-19 in an effort to better protect our guests, our staff and our community while continuing to provide what we love; an unparalleled learning experience in the mountains. The hybrid online + field days itinerary worked well, and we have decided to keep it as an option for our AIARE 1 courses moving forward.
By removing the 8+ hours of in-person classroom learning and replacing it with online learning, we’re able to provide an itinerary that works well for a busy person, or those that have concerns about being in a small space with a group of people. We also offer a 3-day in-person course for those looking to spend more time learning alongside an instructor.
We’ve invested in creating our very own AIARE online format with videos, quizzes, and interactive classwork with the intention of maintaining the same learning outcomes while completely eliminating the need to spend extended periods of time in a confined classroom. Not only does our new hybrid AIARE course offer customized coursework with better, more in-depth content but you’ll still get two full days in the field with your instructors. We’re excited to unveil this new format as we lead the way in innovative mountain guiding techniques designed to step into the 21st century while spending as much time outside as possible.
You must be an advanced intermediate skier/rider for this course and be comfortable on both on and off-piste terrain in a variety of conditions.
- Digital Learning
Self Paced & Live Meeting
The digital component of the new AIARE 1 course will comprise both a self paced version and a live online meeting with your instructor and other students in your class.
- Field Day 1
Skills & Technique
A meet and greet with your group of 6 students and single instructor will be completed outdoors, likely at a trailhead. The day will consist of an easy tour with stops throughout the day to work on terrain recognition and rescue skills.
- Field Day 2
Skills & Techniques
The final day of the course builds on the prior day, culminating in a full planning session and execution of a backcountry tour.
A digital transceiver that is simple to use or that you are extremely comfortable using.
Recommended: Black Diamond Recon Avalanche X Beacon
Many options are available, and are often comparable. Most important is to ensure your skins are trimmed properly for the ski you will be touring with. Skins with a secure tail clip are preferred.
Recommended for Skis: Black Diamond Ascension Nylon STS
Recommended for Splitboards: Black Diamond Ascension Splitboard STS
These gloves keep the inside of your mitts or other gloves from accumulating sweat on the inside and turning inside out when you take them off, as well as provide additional insulation.
Recommended: Black Diamond Lightweight Wooltech Gloves
A strong, lightweight avalanche probe, 260-300cm.
Recommended: Black Diamond QuickDraw Pro Probe 280
A lightweight metal avalanche rescue shovel. Extendable handle is recommended.
Recommended: Black Diamond Evac 7
While ski crampons are strongly recommended on our domestic backcountry ski programs, they are required on all of our International Ski Expeditions. These are typically used on early spring days when the snow is often icy on the way up before the conditions transition. Many bindings accept a compatible crampon made by the manufacturer.
Recommended: Black Diamond ATK Ski Crampons
A ski specific helmet that is less than 10 years old.
Recommended: Scott Track Plus Helmet
Ski Touring Boots
These need to be a touring specific boot with walk mode, and a rubber sole. Typically sized a bit larger than your regular alpine boot, and light weight is a huge plus. Be sure to try many pairs on to find the right fit; it can make or break a day in the mountains!
Skis w/ Touring Bindings
A lightweight touring ski with touring bindings. Our guides suggest something between 95mm and 110mm underfoot. Keep in mind that extremely lightweight boards are great on the uphill, but can prove challenging in variable conditions.
Recommended Skis: Black Diamond Helio Carbon 95 Skis
Recommended Bindings: Black Diamond ATK Crest 10 Bindings
The same boots you wear at the resort are great for your splitboard. Be sure they’re comfortable, backcountry touring means long days in your boots!
Recommended: Burton Tourist Snowboard Boots
A splitboard that you are comfortable riding in a variety of conditions.
Recommended: Jones Solution Splitboard
While splitboard crampons are strongly recommended on our domestic backcountry splitboard programs, they are required on all of our International Splitboard Expeditions. These are typically used on early spring days when the snow is often icy on the way up before the conditions transition. Many bindings accept a compatible crampon made by the manufacturer.
Recommended: Spark R&D Ibex ST Splitboard Crampons
A simple, lightweight synthetic jacket. This item is good for layering systems to stay warm in cold, wet conditions.
Recommended: Black Diamond First Light Stretch Hoodie
Ski socks will keep your feet warm and dry during long tours in the mountains.
Internal frame pack that is between 25 and 35 liters. Either purchase a matching pack cover, or use garbage bags as liners to protect from precipitation. Make sure the pack is fitted to YOUR body.
Recommended: Black Diamond Dawn Patrol 32L
These will be worn on stormy or windy days. Make sure you are getting a snug fit with lenses for bright sun. Ventilation and anti-fog features are desired.
Recommended: Vuarnet Everest Goggles
Neck Gaiter (Buff)
A multi-purpose neck gator that can also be worn under your hat. Make sure that it covers as much skin as possible and yet is still comfy.
Recommended: Alpenglow Buff
Must have dark lenses. Minimal light should come in below, above, or around the sides of the lenses.“Wrap” style is best. Ventilation is important and a retainer strap is very useful (Chums or Croakies).
Recommended: Vaurnet Ice Rounds
We recommend a tight-fitting balaclava that is worn under your hat. Make sure that it covers as much skin as possible, but is comfortable enough to wear for hours.
Recommended: Black Diamond Coefficient LT Balaclava
Bring your favorite baseball hat for shelter from the sun. No white under the brim – the reflection off of it from the sun is blinding.
Recommended: Alpenglow Hat
A comfortable, warm well-fitting hat that covers your ears. Make sure that one of your hats fits under a helmet.
Recommended: Black Diamond Levels Beanie
All-around gloves for mountaineering, backcountry skiing, and hiking. These gloves (and similar options) are warm, wind-resistant, durable and have a sure grip. You will rarely take these gloves off. They should be snug-fitting, and have some sort of reinforced palm.
Recommended: Black Diamond Tour Gloves
These gloves should be full GORE-TEX®, with a removable fleece liner (so you can take the liner out and dry it at night). These gloves are used at higher altitudes and are needed to keep your hands dry, and warm. Over the cuff style is desired.
Recommended: Black Diamond Guide Gloves
Hard Shell Jacket
Mid-Weight Puffy Jacket
Ultra-light base layer that effectively wicks moisture away from your body and is breathable. Quick-dry is important as well. One light-colored shirt is recommended for extremely sunny days.
Recommended Men’s: Black Diamond Lightwire Short Sleeve
Recommended Women’s: Black Diamond Lightwire Short Sleeve
Two 1L Nalgene Bottles
Two 1 Liter Wide Mouth Nalgene bottles.
Recommended: Nalgene 1 L wide mouth
They provided a wealth of knowledge to make me feel more prepared
“Had a great experience with my AIARE 1 class at Alpenglow. Just the online portion of the class provided a wealth of knowledge to make me feel more prepared. The 2 days of in field work were engaging, really informative, and a great time overall. Our guide, Alex, was awesome and did a great job of making sure that we were learning what we needed, while also enjoying our experience. I feel much more prepared to safely explore the backcountry and continue to build my knowledge.”