Backcountry Education: What’s the next step?


Advanced Resort Skiers/Beginner Backcountry Skiers & Riders


Step Zero: Advanced Ski/Riding Skills

Be able to ski black diamond runs and off-piste at the ski resort. You don’t have to jump off cliffs or anything, but you do need to be able to maneuver around complex unmarked obstacles in the backcountry. Don’t start thinking about heading into the backcountry until you are an advanced skier or rider.


Step 1: Try Backcountry Skiing or Riding for the First Time

– Intro to

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10 Next Steps after your AIARE 1 Avalanche Course

Words by Tim Mincey

So you just finished an AIARE 1 course. Congrats! Nice work taking a huge step in your avalanche education, and making yourself a much more valuable touring partner and member of the backcountry community. Maybe you’re feeling a little bit intimidated by the awesome power of avalanches, but hopefully, you’re mostly feeling empowered to step into the backcountry with the knowledge and tools to identify avalanche terrain and make good decisions with your partners, however conservative those decisions might be.


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Alpenglow Backcountry Gear Guide


Backcountry skiing and riding may be all about going light, but that doesn’t mean it’s “gear-lite.” You’ll need a lot of specialized equipment to have a safe and successful day in the mountains. Here at Alpenglow, we field a ton of questions from people purchasing new backcountry gear and from people buying their first backcountry setup. If you’re in the market for something, our team has compiled a list of some of our favorites for men, women, splitboarders, and skiers. Here are the basics that you’ll need for a day out-of-bounds.



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Anatomy of a Guide’s Kit

Ski Guide Tim Dobbins breaks down exactly what he keeps in his pack

As part of the AIARE 1 Avalanche Course that he teaches, Tim always gives an overview of all the essentials that guides carry with them for a day in the field. With a little ingenuity and the right ingredients, a guide can build an emergency shelter or rescue sled with these must-have items.

Here’s the breakdown of what’s in the pack:


Rescue Sled: 

My favorite is the Alpine Threadworks Sled. It’s a rescue sled and an emergency shelter in one. You can also quickly…

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Beacon Battery Protocol

North Side of Castle Peak, photo: Brennan Lagasse

Give Your Avalanche Beacon the Batteries it Deserves

Tips and tricks from guide Jules Hanna.

We caught up with Jules while he was teaching an AIARE rescue course last weekend. Here’s his rundown beacon battery protocol.

Alkaline or Lithium?

Short answer: Alkaline. BUT, check your manufacturer, while it is likely that you should only be using alkaline batteries, some beacons accept lithium batteries. (Do not use rechargeable batteries though!) What’s the big deal? Alkaline batteries slowly discharge their power.  Lithium batteries will

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AIARE Avalanche Education with Ben Weaver

Ski season is nearly upon us so it’s time to start thinking about dialing in your backcountry skills again. We caught up with AIARE instructor Ben Weaver and asked him a couple of questions about this season’s avalanche training program at Alpenglow Expeditions.

Can you start by introducing yourself? What’s your background? What drew you to teaching AIARE courses?

I am ski guide and avalanche course instructor at Alpenglow Expeditions.  I am in my third season at Alpenglow and loving it.  I was a professional ski patroller at Mt. Hood Meadows in Oregon for 5 years. 

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Professional or Recreational Track?

Text: Ben Weaver

“There are new updates to AIARE Avalanche education and training in the United States. Beginning in the 2017-2018 season, formal Avalanche education and training will have changes to the current courses offered and have additional courses available. A majority of the changes are on the “Professional” track of education, but there are changes to the “Recreational” path as well. In fact, the creation of proper “recreational” and “professional” tracks is a cornerstone of the new model. I encourage anyone consider a course of any kind to checkout the American Institute for Avalanche Rescue and Education, or…

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