Private AIARE 1 Course

3 Days in Squaw Valley / (Skill level: Introductory)

Price per person

$525.00

About this trip

This is a comprehensive, entry level avalanche course designed for those with basic ski / snowboard touring experience. There are no other prerequisites. This is a great course to take before heading out into the backcountry.

Overview

  • skill level

    Introductory

  • Duration

    3 Days

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.

Location:

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.

Learning Outcomes:

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

Alpenglow Expeditions operates under a special use permit from the Tahoe, Inyo and Eldorado National Forests. This institution is an equal opportunity provider. 

Preparation

  • Fitness

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

  • Technical Experience

    Skiers must be competent resort skiers able to link turns in a variety of terrain and snow conditions.

    • Day 1 — Lecture & Skills

      Lecture in the morning followed by hands on practice in the afternoon.

    • Day 2 — Lecture & Skills

      Lecture in the morning followed by observation tour in the afternoon.

    • Day 3 — Skills day in the field

      Today the course wraps up with a full day in the field practicing all the concepts learned over the previous 2 days.

      • Equipment

    • Do I have enough experience for this course?

      The AIARE 1 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.

    • Is it safe?

      While no outdoor adventure can be completely free of risk without losing the essence of the activity, hiring a professional guide is a fantastic way to manage and mitigate this risk. Activities like skiing and climbing have what we call “inherent risk”, which can be defined as a risk that cannot be completely mitigated by a professional. That is part of playing in the mountains, we encourage you to reach out to the office if you would like to discuss this in more detail.

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 an 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

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-’90s where he spent 6 seasons skiing and climbing while studying French. Tim says that Chamonix is where he really started learning 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 9 years guiding and instructing in rock, ice, alpine, and skiing as well as becoming an IFMGA aspirant mountain guide, an AMGA Ski Guide and AIARE course leader. He lives on Donner Lake in Truckee with his wife Gisele, sweet daughter Manue and son Matisse. 

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

Jules Hanna

If you are looking for an AMGA Splitboard 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.

Whether it’s a ski day or time to board, Jules enjoys the rewards that the backcountry experience provides. He is an AIARE 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

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.

What others are saying about this trip

Expedition Inquiry Form

  • Have questions about this trip?

    Private AIARE 1 Course