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 all necessary classroom supplies and 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 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:
- Plan and prepare for travel in avalanche terrain.
- Recognize avalanche terrain.
- Describe a basic framework for making decisions in avalanche terrain.
- Learn and apply effective companion rescue.
- Instructional sessions (24 hours including both class and field instruction) :
1. Introduction to the Avalanche Phenomena
- Types and characteristics of avalanches
- Avalanche motion
- Size classification
- The mountain snowpack: an introduction to metamorphism and layering
2. 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
3. Trip Planning and Preparation
- Avalanche terrain recognition, assessment, and selection
- Route finding and travel techniques
- Decision making and Human Factors
4. Companion Rescue and Equipment
Want more info? Check out this interview with AIARE instructor Ben Weaver.
Alpenglow Expeditions operates under a special use permit from the Tahoe, Inyo and Eldorado National Forests. This institution is an equal opportunity provider.