We are providing an all in-person AIARE again this season! It will be 3 full days: 2 days with half of the day in class and half in the field. The third day will have a short classroom meeting in the morning and then spend the majority of the day doing field based learning.
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. Here is a good example of intermediate skiers and riders.
Who Can Participate
Skiers and riders joining this course must be advanced intermediate skiers or riders who have taken our Backcountry 1.0 course or have had 5-10 days in the backcountry. Skiers and riders must be competent on and off-piste in a variety of conditions. This is comparable to skiing confidently on all blue runs and most black runs in the resort (including ungroomed terrain). This video will give a good example of intermediate to advanced skiers and riders.
Skiers or riders 12-16 years old can join us with a parent. 16 years and over are able to join without accompaniment.
Students can expect to develop a good foundation on how to prepare for and carry out a backcountry trip, to understand basic decision making while in the field, and to learn avalanche rescue techniques.
This is a comprehensive, entry-level avalanche course designed for those with basic ski/snowboard touring experience. There are no other prerequisites. The price includes the AIARE field book. These items are often not included in the course price, but we don’t like any hidden costs.
Operating in partnership with the Tahoe National Forest and the Truckee Donner Land Trust, our outdoor classroom contains some of the best terrain in the region to begin your avalanche education. Classroom sessions will take place at our headquarters in the beautiful Olympic Valley, California.
At the end of the AIARE 1 course the student should be able to:
- Develop a plan for travel in avalanche terrain.
- Demonstrate the ability to identify avalanche terrain.
- Effectively use the AIARE Risk Management Framework to make terrain choices in a group setting.
- Demonstrate effective companion rescue.
Instructional sessions (24 hours including both classroom and field instruction) :
- Introduction to the Avalanche Phenomena
- Types and characteristics of avalanches
- Avalanche motion
- Size classification
- The mountain snowpack: an introduction to metamorphism and layering
- Observations and Information Gathering
- Field observation techniques
- Snowpack tests: rutschblock, compression test, extended column test
- Avalanche danger factors or “Red Flags”
- Observation checklist
- Avalanche danger scale
- Trip Planning and Preparation
- Avalanche terrain recognition, assessment, and selection
- Route finding and travel techniques
- Decision making and Human Factors
- Companion Rescue and Equipment
Want more info? Check out this interview with AIARE instructor Ben Weaver.