Level 1

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, and making decisions about hazards while in the backcountry, and learn rescue techniques if an avalanche occurs and someone is caught.

Why Take Your AIARE 1 with Us? All of our courses are lead by AMGA Certified Ski Guides. We have smaller classes with 12 students maximum and 2 instructors. All students will get time in the field with both instructors to maximize learning.  Smaller courses also make the classroom and zoom session more intimate and allow for more discussion.

Who Should Take this Course: The AIARE 1 is for anyone, regardless of their method of backcountry travel, who wants to recreate in or near avalanche terrain. You should be able to travel off-trail on ungroomed or unmaintained terrain and bring appropriate equipment for traveling on snow, but there are no other prerequisites for this course

The AIARE 1 is a prerequisite for the 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: 

  • A repeatable process for managing risk in the winter backcountry
  • Identifying avalanche hazard
  • Developing a plan for travel in avalanche terrain
  • Identifying avalanche terrain
  • Build habits to maintain awareness, communicate with your group, and make decisions 
  • Learn and practice avalanche rescue skills

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

Visit AIARE’s website here.

Winter 2021/22 public courses

Monarch Pass, Weekday/Weekend/Late Weekend Courses, $545

Note:  The Virtual Classroom will consist of evening Zoom sessions lasting approximately 3 hours per session.

  • December 4-5, Virtual Classroom Wed/Th December 1-2, Field Weekend December 4-5 (cancelled due to lack of snow)
  • December 19-20, Virtual Classroom Th/Fri December 16-17, Field Sun/Mon December 19-20
  • January 12-13, Virtual Classroom Mon/Tue January 10-11, Field Wed/Th January 12-13
  • February 5-6, Virtual Classroom Wed/Th February 2-3, Field Weekend February 5-6 (COURSE FULL – WAITLIST AVAILABLE)
  • March 12-13, Virtual Classroom Wed/Th March 9-10, Field Weekend March 12-13

Included:  AMGA Certified Ski Guide Course Leaders, AIARE Field Book, Student Resources, use of Ortovox transceiver, probe, and shovel.

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.

Monarch Mountain Ski Area, Weekday Course, $545

  February 7-9 (Monday-Wednesday)

Just us for this special class at Monarch Mountain Ski Area! Monarch Mountain will host us for our classroom sessions and we will access the backcountry using designated backcountry access gates.  We will also head up Highway 50 to access terrain off Monarch Pass.  All training and skiing will take place in the backcountry.

Included:  AMGA Certified Ski Guide Course Leaders, AIARE Field Book, Student Resources, use of Ortovox transceiver, probe, and shovel.

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.

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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