AIARE Level 1, Sponsored by Weston

Who should take this course: AIARE 1 is for anyone, regardless of method of travel, who wants to recreate in or near avalanche terrain. Participants may have attended some awareness classes or workshops or completed the Avalanche Rescue course, but none are prerequisites for this course.

Course Description:  Our AIARE 1 is a 24-hour introduction to avalanche hazard management. Students can expect to develop a solid grounding in how to plan and execute a backcountry trip, understand basic communication and decision making while in the field, and learn rescue techniques required to locate and rescue a buried person (if an avalanche occurs and someone in the party is caught).

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

Use of Ortovox transceiver, shovel, and probe is included. Skis or splitboards are required.

Visit AIARE’s website here.

Our COVID-19 Response to Avalanche Education for 2020/2021.

As we prepare for winter, managing the realities of the continuing global pandemic and the expectation of heavy backcountry use will inform our philosophy of scheduling and conducting AIARE avalanche education courses.  In order to maintain social distancing and not overwhelm the backcountry with multiple users and their vehicles, we will be running all of our classes at a 6:1 instructor to student ratio primarily during weekdays or on Sundays and Mondays. The classroom portion of AIARE I courses will be held virtually in the form of self-guided learning modules and Zoom-based group discussions.  Gear checks may also be conducted virtually as well.  These structural changes will in no way diminish the quality of education as field days will remain the core of the curriculum.  It is our hope that by offering avalanche eduction courses in a different format and at different (off peak) times will better accommodate those of you seeking to learn and expand your ability to travel safely in avalanche terrain.  Please note that any of our AIARE courses can be scheduled as a private course to suit your schedule and training objectives.  Thank you in advance for considering us for your avalanche education.  All of us who enjoy backcountry skiing and splitboarding have an extra obligation this winter to teach and demonstrate the ethics, etiquette, and skill necessary to keep everyone safe in the mountains while preserving the environment that brings us so much joy and challenge.

Monarch Pass, Weekday Course, $545 

  • Winter 2021/2022 dates TBD (Coming in October)

Included:  AIARE Field Book, Student Resources, use of Ortovox transceiver, probe, and shovel. WESTON DEMO SPLITBOARD RENTAL, availability not guaranteed, reserve early.

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

Required gear: Alpine Touring Ski/Splitboard setup or snowshoes. Full winter backcountry gear. See our gear list on this page.

Prerequisites: (1) Students must be able to confidently ski/ride black runs at the resort.  While not all of the terrain we will be traveling in is steep, it is essential to be able to safely negotiate unpredictable snow conditions and avoid obstacles in all weather conditions.  (2)  Students should be familiar with uphill travel (skinning) and transitions.  If you are new to backcountry skiing or splitboarding, we highly recommend taking our one day Intro to Backcountry Skiing or Splitboarding courses prior to taking any avalanche awareness courses.  By having your uphill and skiing/riding technique dialed, you can better focus on snowpack and terrain recognition during the field sessions of your AIARE course. Either AIARE 1 and AIARE Avalanche Rescue can be taken first or without the other.

Max group size (student:instructor) 6:1

Due to high interest in this course, full payment is required at time of registration. AIARE 1 courses are refundable 30 days from course start less a 10% administrative fee.

Weston Splitboard Demos are available for FREE at our local partner shop Mountain Chalet

  • Students will need their own boots
  • Recommend booking as early as possible to guarantee a board, availability not guaranteed
  • Pick up is the day before after 3pm and drop off is the the day after the rental period by 12 noon
  • Proof of enrollment is required
  • Mountain Chalet will still offer optional damage waiver at a cost

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 a ski patrol or working at a guide service or similar, 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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