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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 AIARE.

For the recreational pathway the AIARE Level 1 will remain essentially unchanged. It is still a 24 hour, 3-day course that will include much of the same information and training as the past. There is however a NEW course being offered. This 8 hour, 1-day Avalanche Rescue course is a great chance for people to learn more and practice the important skills required to participate in a rescue. It will be beneficial to anyone who has taken, or will take, any formal Avalanche training. Check out this video of an event that is a good reminder for taking a rescue course.

After students participate in a Level 1 course and a Rescue course, this is where the Professional and Recreational riders will separate into two pathways. Historically, an AIARE Level 2 was a 40 hour, 4-day course that had both professional and recreational riders participating. It was a course that didn’t meet everyones needs exceptionally well. The new AIARE Level 2 will have a recreational focus and the course and is now only 24hours, or 3 days. The new Level 2 course will still focus on grooming an individual for more group leadership decision making and roles, but without as much focus on standardized observations which are required for professional operations. For the entry level professional their next step will be a Pro 1 course.

We are excited about the changes that are taking place and think that these changes will lead to better training for both groups of riders. The emphasis is on teaching and training people to be better mountain travelers. Here at Alpenglow we will be offering a variety of courses and encourage anyone with interest or questions to get in touch. You can call the Alpenglow office at 877-873-5376 or email for more information.”