AIARE Avalanche Rescue

1 day in California, Lake Tahoe / (Skill level: Introductory)

Price per person

$225.00

About this trip

This one day course is designed to keep backcountry travelers up to date on best practices and gear for avalanche rescue. Suitable for both new and more experienced skiers and riders, this course will keep you and your friends ready for the unthinkable.  

Overview

  • skill level

    Introductory

  • Duration

    1 day

All students will have the opportunity to receive professional coaching their rescue skills and will receive a rescue card acknowledging completion date at course end.

AIARE Avalanche Rescue is a prerequisite for the AIARE 2 and Pro 1 courses. We recommend that all backcountry travelers keep their skills current by taking an Avalanche Rescue Course and receiving a rescue card at least every other year.

Student learning outcomes

At the end of the Avalanche Rescue course the student should be able to:

  • Describe what to do in the event of an avalanche incident.
  • Identify and be able to use gear necessary for avalanche rescue.
  • Set up a realistic scenario in order to practice an avalanche rescue response.
  • Improve their response skills and times during and after the course with feedback from instructors and peers.
  • Develop a plan for continued practice.

Students will learn how to set up a quick, efficient rescue scenario to maintain skills after the course.

Students who have previously taken an AIARE 1 or an Avalanche Rescue Course will find value in having a professional help them set up a realistic scenario, practice skills in a realistic setting, receive feedback from an instructor, keep up with current best practices, and have an opportunity to practice advanced rescue skills.

Who Should Take this Course

The Avalanche Rescue Course is a one-day course designed for anyone who travels the backcountry in winter.

 

Topics covered

Personal protective and avalanche rescue equipment

  • Identify and familiarize students with winter personal protective, avalanche rescue, and self-evacuation equipment and their proper use
  • Demonstrate and practice routines to check gear’s function

Demonstrate avalanche rescue

  • Introduce Avalanche Rescue Quick Reference tool and apply it to a scenario
  • Breakdown and practice individuals skills of avalanche rescue: assessing the scene and taking leadership, using a transceiver, using a probe, and shoveling

Single burial scenarios

  • Learn to set up effective scenarios for practice
  • Integrate individual skills into a rescue scenario

Patient considerations and evacuation

  • Identify potential patient care considerations resulting from avalanche burial or involvement
  • Name equipment for self-evacuation and communication to outside resources
  • Describe considerations when interfacing with Search and Rescue and Emergency Medical Services

Scenario practice and feedback

  • Integrate skills and receive feedback on rescue response from a professional

Advanced topics – Covered depending on student need and interest

  • Employ probing on a line with a partner to reduce search times and need for bracketing.
  • Apply foundational skills to multiple victim scenarios without close proximity burials.
  • Recognize challenges associated with deep burials.
  • Employ repeatable method (Micro-strip or 3-circle) for locating close-proximity multiple burials

Preparation

  • Fitness

    Excellent physical fitness is required. Skiers must be able to hike for many hours at a time while carrying a small pack.

  • Technical Experience

    This is an entry level course, but students must be able to travel in the backcountry, over snow covered terrain.

    • Morning

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    • Can I customize a course for my group?

      Absolutely. We love putting together custom courses. Call or email us to begin planning your custom AIARE rescue course today.

    • Do I have enough experience for this course?

      The AIARE rescue course is a stand alone, introductory avalanche course. No prior education is required. You must be an intermediate skier or rider to join us in the backcountry, however. This is for the safety and enjoyment of everyone, and will allow students to focus on the material and techniques being presented, and not on their own skiing or riding.

    • I always ski with experienced friends. Should I still take this course?

      We believe that each individual makes up the team, not its strongest members. With that in mind, it is imperative that every member of a touring party has basic rescue training. This course focuses specifically on the rescue aspect of avalanche awareness.

    • Is lunch included on the trip?

      Lunch is not included on the trip. We recommend packing a sack lunch and plenty of water.

    • What gear should I bring?

      In general, your gear for the day will be very similar to a day of skiing in the resort, but here are a few key pieces that are unique to the backcountry and crucial for the day –

      • A hat and pair of sunglasses (These come in handy on the hike up)
      • Sunscreen
      • Water and snacks (Our guides recommend between 1-2L of water depending on your intake)
      • Lighter, more breathable layer options than a typical resort layering system. An additional light pair of gloves is preferred for uphill travel
      • Ski poles with powder baskets, or a pair of collapsable poles for splitboarding. (We have these available at no extra charge if you need them)
      • A backpack, and any avalanche rescue gear you may own. (Our guides recommend packs around 20-30L)

      **Please give us a call if you have any questions about what to bring, or if your gear will be appropriate for the day.

    • I need to rent gear, what information should I provide in advance?

      We have an excellent selection of backcountry ski gear available to rent. We offer top of the line equipment from Blizzard Skis, Technica Boots, Jones Snowboards, and Black Diamond. Many of our guides use the same gear available in our demo fleet. If you have any gear or sizing questions, we would be more than happy to get you situated to ensure you get the most out of your day in the mountains.

      A/T Skis

      We can offer touring specific skis from Blizzard, a personal favorite for our mountain guides. We have skis available for both females and males. We have sizes available in 164cm,  171cm, 178cm, and 185cm.

      Splitboards

      We have Jones Splitboards available to rent in sizes 145cm, 152cm, 160cm, 161cm, 162cm, and 164cm) Please let us know your stance/binding angle preferences if you are planning to rent a splitboard setup.

      A/T Ski Boots

      Alpine touring ski boots from Technica Boots are available to rent. Sizes range from 23.5 to 29.5 in both genders.

      Avalanche Equiptment

      Avalanche gear is mandatory for all peoples traveling in alpine terrain. If you do not already own gear, we offer a beacon, shovel, probe setup available to rent for $25/day.

Logan Talbott

director of operations / chief guide

Logan has been guiding professionally for over a decade in the disciplines of Rock, Alpine and Ski Mountaineering. When not out guiding, Logan keeps things running smoothly as the director of operations at Alpenglow Expeditions. From one day ascents of El Capitan to big Alpine climbs in the Himalaya, from ski descents on Denali to backyard ski tours in Lake Tahoe, he can’t help but smile when out running around the hills. Logan is a fully certified AMGA/IFMGA mountain guide, an Avalanche course leader with AIARE, as well as a wilderness EMT. In addition to guiding, Logan has extensive experience in mountain rescue, having worked for rescue teams in both Yosemite and Denali National Parks, and volunteering locally for Tahoe Nordic SAR. When not out in the hills, he lives in Truckee, CA with his lovely wife Lynette and daughter Maggie.

Guide Certifications
  • AMGA - American Mountain Guide
  • IVBV IFMGA UIAGM - Mountain Guide

Zeb Blais

From bushwhacking miles of Manzanita in ski boots to traversing huge glaciers in exotic ranges, adventure draws Zeb in. Originally from Vermont, Zeb has been hooked on big mountains since his first ski tour in Jackson Hole and has pursued skiing, climbing and exploring ever since. Zeb has climbed and guided in the Himalaya, Alaska, Argentina, Mexico, Ecuador and Asia among others and he’s working hard to keep that list growing. Working as a mountain guide allows Zeb to share his passion for human powered movement in the mountains and to pass along what he’s learned along the way.

Zeb has successfully guided Mt Everest [29,029′], Mt Cho Oyu [26,906′] including a ski descent from the summit, Lobuche East [20,075′],  and four expeditions on Denali [20,320’], including a ski descent from the summit. He has completed 64 summits of Mount Rainier [14,410’]. Additional credentials include 12 summits of Mount Shasta [14,179’]; 5 summits of Mount Shuksan [9,100’]; 3 summits via Mount Baker [10,678’], including one ski descent from the summit, and two ski descents via the North Ridge; 2 summits of Aconcagua [22,841’]; 1 summit of Cotopaxi and 1 summit of Cayabme; 2 summits of Ixtacihuatl in Mexico; 3 summits of Orizaba in Mexico, including a ski descent from the summit; and numerous rock, alpine and ski summits from the Cascades, Sierra Nevada, Coast ranges and Rockies.

Zeb is an AMGA certified ski guide.

Guide Certifications
  • AMGA Certified Ski Guide

Ben Mitchell

Ben has been in love with the mountains from a young age. He began hiking and skiing with his family and quickly decided he never wanted to stop. After finishing university in Portland, OR Ben moved back to Washington State and began guiding on Mt. Rainier and around the Cascades. For the next many years he followed the seasons, skiing, climbing and pursuing the art of human flight through out the world. He has made expeditions into both polar circles, skied first descents in Afghanistan and climbed throughout the Americas and Europe. When not looking forward to the next adventure he thoroughly enjoys roasting coffee, reading and taking his dog out for walks.

Ben is a fully certified IFMGA/AMGA mountain guide, Certified Level III Avalanche Professional, and Wilderness First Responder.

Guide Certifications
  • AMGA - American Mountain Guide
  • IVBV IFMGA UIAGM - Mountain Guide

Tim Dobbins

With notable first descents in the Alps, Tim Dobbins represents Alpenglow’s cutting edge guiding philosophy providing only the best guides for every trip and expedition.

Growing up in Oregon, Tim started out skiing at the young age of 4 years old. Tim grew up ski racing for 9 years before he moved on to backcountry skiing in Aspen, Colorado. He spent 4 years working as ski patrol at Snowmass Ski Resort.

Tim moved to Chamonix in the mid 90’s where he spent 6 seasons skiing and climbing while studying French. Tim says that Chamonix is where he really started leaning how to ski tour, rock climb, ice climb and eventually began skiing the steepest lines he could find.

Examples of those steep lines were the North East face of Les Courtes, Couloir Barbey from Aiguille D’Argentiere, Couloir Couturier from L’Aiguille Verte, Couloir du Diable on Mont Blanc du Tacul, East face of the Matterhorn and many, many others.

Tim has recently spent the last 8 years guiding and instructing in rock, ice, alpine and skiing as well as becoming an IFMGA aspirant mountain guide, an AMGA certified ski guide and AIARE level 1 course leader. He lives on Donner Lake in Truckee with his wife Gisele and sweet daughter Manu. 

Guide Certifications
  • AMGA Certified Single Pitch Instructor
  • AMGA Certified Ski Guide

Peter Leh

Peter has an enthusiastic passion for skiing the backcountry. His ski guiding career began 35 years ago working in the Sierra and Cascades. Over the years his professional ski career brought him through North America and Japan, working to train ski guides, military personnel and guide skiers in search of the backcountry skiing experience. He is a AMGA certified ski mountaineering guide and a member of the AMGA instructor team. He is an AIARE Level 2 avalanche course leader and PSIA Level 3 ski instructor. With over 35 years guiding under his belt, you’ll discover that Peter’s enthusiasm for skiing in the backcountry is contagious.

Guide Certifications
  • AMGA Certified Ski Guide

Jules Hanna

If you are looking for a split boarding mountain guide, Jules is your man. He has been guiding for 10 years and spends his winters in Tahoe and summers in the Pacific Northwest and Alaska.

He is one of only a few splitboarders who has become certified with the AMGA as a ski guide. Whether it’s a ski day or time to board, Jules enjoys the rewards that the backcountry experience provides. He is an AIARE 1 course leader and has logged many adventures in mountains up and down the west coast learning about the avalanche phenomena. Jules is also an Ambassador Guide for Jones Snowboards.

In addition to guiding, Jules has worked as a climbing ranger at Mt Rainer and a mountaineer for the US Antarctic Program and has many stories to tell from his time on Search and Rescue in those locales.

Guide Certifications
  • AMGA Certified Ski Guide

Chris Wright

Chris grew up in Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains before moving to Oregon and becoming a guide in 2006, and has been climbing and skiing across the globe ever since. He is a fully certified IFMGA Mountain Guide, and can regularly be found at work from the French Alps to the Canadian Rockies and Norway’s Lofoten Islands. His achievements include everything from big walls to virgin summits, first ski descents and traverses, and his guiding career has taken him from the Matterhorn to Denali, and from Mt. Hood to Mont Blanc. An avid alpinist and expedition climber, Chris has received the prestigious Mugs Stump and Lyman Spitzer Cutting Edge Awards for his ascents of hard new routes on unclimbed peaks in the Nepali and Indian Himalayas, as well as the rest of the world, including the famed East Face of Alaska’s Mooses Tooth. He is easily excited by rocks, snow and ice, and by travel, coffee, beer and greasy food of any sort.

Guide Certifications
  • AMGA - American Mountain Guide
  • IVBV IFMGA UIAGM - Mountain Guide

Ben Weaver

Ben comes to guiding after being a professional ski patroller for several years. Three of those seasons were spent working as part of the snow safety department. He is a member of the AMGA, has his AIARE level 3 certification and is also an AIARE 1 instructor. Ben has spent three spring climbing seasons in Alaska volunteering with the National Park climbing rangers on Denali. He has skied all over the Western US and Canada and has ski descents on Mt Baker, Mt Rainier, Mt Adams and Mt Hood. He has also done several single and multiple day objectives in the North Cascades, Sawtooths, and Sierra. Ben has a Master’s Degree in Anesthesia and he works as a CRNA in the summer months.

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