AIARE 1 Avalanche Course-$499

The AIARE 1 Avalanche Course is an introduction to avalanche hazard management and prepares you for travel in backcountry terrain.


AIARE On-line Curriculum, AIARE Field Book, AIARE Student Manual, use of Ortovox Avalanche Safety Equipment (transceiver, probe, shovel, and pack), are all included in the course price.  Backcountry ski and splitboard package rentals are available from Tahoe Mountain Sports shop where we are based.


The AIARE 1 is a 24 hour introduction to avalanche hazard management course.  There will be 8 hours of self paced pre-course on-line ciriculuum that students must complete prior to their course along with 2 full days of outdoor field instruction.


Students can expect to develop a good grounding in how to prepare for and carry out a trip, to understand basic decision making while in the field, and to learn rescue techniques required to find and dig up a buried person (if an avalanche occurs and someone in the party is caught).


Student Learning Outcomes


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 Decision Making Framework to make terrain choices in a group setting

Demonstrate effective companion rescue.


Instructional sessions (24 hours including both on-line ciriculum 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

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


Student Prerequisites:


Students must be in at least moderate physical condition and be able to travel in mountainous terrain on skis or splitboard, we travel up to 1200-2000' per day on a typical course.  Snowshoes are not allowed on this course.  Students must be able to ski or ride on advanced terrain at a ski resort and be able to link turns in a variety of snow conditions.  An Intro to Backcountry Skiing/Splitboarding Course is required before your avalanche course if you do not have at least 5 backcountry days of experience.  The Into to Backcounty Skiing/Splitboarding course will provide you with some of the basic skills and techniques needed for backcountry travel and familiarize you with backcountry specific gear.  We offer Intro to Backcountry Courses on Fridays and Saturdays throughout the winter season.  Skiers or riders 12-16 years old with the required experience can join us with a parent. 16 years and over are able to join without accompaniment.