AIARE Level 1 with Classroom

Course Description: This 24-hour course is an introduction to managing avalanche hazard. You will learn how to use a repeatable process to manage your risk and learn from your experiences in the backcountry. You will also practice preparing for and carrying out a backcountry trip, keeping track of, communicating about, and making decisions regarding hazards while in the backcountry, and learn rescue techniques if an avalanche occurs and someone is caught.

Why Take Your AIARE 1 With Us? This course is led by an AMGA Alpine Guide. We have smaller classes with 6 students maximum and 1 instructor. Smaller courses also make the classroom time more intimate, allowing for more discussion.

Who Should Take This Course:  AIARE 1 is for anyone, regardless of their method of backcountry travel, who wants to recreate in or near avalanche terrain.

AIARE 1 is a prerequisite for AIARE 2 as well as the Pro 1 course for aspiring avalanche professionals. 

What You’ll Learn: During an AIARE 1 course, you’ll spend time learning these skills, both in a classroom setting and in the field: 

  • How to use a repeatable process for managing risk in the backcountry
  • Identifying avalanche hazards
  • Developing a plan for travel in avalanche terrain
  • Identifying avalanche terrain
  • Building habits to maintain awareness, communicate with your group, and make decisions 
  • Learning and practicing avalanche rescue skills

$629 per student

Included:  IFMGA/AMGA Ski Guide Course Leader, AIARE Field Book, student resources, use of Ortovox transceiver/probe/shovel.

Not Included:  Transportation, accommodations, food, and guide gratuity.

Required Gear:  Full alpine touring/splitboard setup.  Full winter backcountry gear. For more details, see our Gear List on this page.

(1) Students MUST be able to confidently ski/ride black (advanced) runs at the resort in any conditions (powder, icy hardpack, wind buff, cut up chop, crust etc.). We highly encourage skiing off-piste at resorts to practice skiing/riding wild snow prior to heading into the backcountry. While very little of the terrain we will be traveling in is steep, it is essential to be able to safely negotiate variable backcountry snow conditions and avoid obstacles in all weather conditions.
(2) Students MUST be familiar with uphill travel (skinning) and transitions. Touring with experienced partners or “uphilling” at the resort are great ways to practice touring prior to taking an AIARE course. If you are new to backcountry skiing or splitboarding, we highly recommend taking our one day Introduction to Backcountry Skiing or Splitboarding courses prior to taking any AIARE courses. By having your uphill and ski/riding technique dialed, you can better focus on snowpack evaluation and terrain recognition during the field sessions of your AIARE course.

Either AIARE I and AIARE Avalanche Rescue can be taken first or without the other.

Maximum Group Size:  6 students to 1 instructor.

Important Note:  Due to high interest in this course, payment in full is required at the time of registration. AIARE I courses are refundable 30 days from the course start less a 10% administrative fee.

Visit AIARE’s website here.

Winter 2023-2024 Course Dates:


  • Evening Classroom Sessions on Wednesday March 27 & Thursday March 28 (5:30-8:30pm) in Colorado Springs on the Colorado College campus
  • Full Field Days weekend of March 30-31 on Monarch Pass


  • Monarch Pass or Hoosier Pass (Field Days)
  • We recommend lodging near Salida 

Want more education?

  • Recreational backcountry travelers will need to take the AIARE 1 Rec and Avalanche Rescue as a prerequisite for the AIARE 2 Rec course.
  • Aspiring professionals will need to take the AIARE 1 Rec and Avalanche Rescue as a prerequisite for the Pro 1 course. For those without the mentorship of working ski patrol or at a guide service, we recommend students take AIARE 2 Rec prior to Pro 1.
  • AIARE 1 and Avalanche Rescue have no prerequisites and either can be taken first or without the other.

Pikes Peak Alpine School operates under special use permits from the USDA Forest Service, Pike National Forest and is an equal opportunity service provider & employer

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