AIARE Avalanche Course Level 1 - Splitboard

This avalanche course is geared around the backcountry splitboard user who does not have any avalanche safety training yet. This course is for splitboarders only and is taught by our splitboard instructor, Jere Burrell. It is a judgment-building course packed with information. In the AIARE Level 1, you will be introduced to topics such as mountain weather, different snow packs, tour planning, hazard recognition and evaluation, snow pack analysis, transceiver search and much more.

Difficulty rating and Skill requirements

Difficulty Rating System Explained

Overall Difficulty Level: Easy to Moderate

Skills Required: Solid intermediate splitboarding skills

Fitness Level: Not Very Strenuous

  • Category: Splitboarding
  • Type: Instructional
  • Ratio: 6:1

* Required Fields

The Snoqualmie Pass & Mt. Baker Courses are $375; the Crystal Mountain Course is $400. This will be reflected during check-out. 

The AIARE Level 1 avalanche course is an introduction to avalanche hazard management.  It is the first in a series of three courses by the American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education (AIARE), including the Avalanche level 1, Companion Rescue, and Avalanche level 2.  Successful completion of this course will provide you with a Level 1 AIARE certification.
Our instructor pool includes mountain guides trained and certified through the International Federation of Mountain Guides Association (IFMGA) or the American Mountain Guides Association (AMGA), and are AIARE certified instructors. 
We have partnered with Weston Backcountry to  offer free splitboard setups for you to demo during our splitboard courses!  There is a limited number available so please contact as soon as you register for one of our courses to reserve your board!
This 24 hour course is a combination of lectures and fieldwork.  It is 3 consecutive days: Friday - Sunday, 8am to 4pm (1 classroom day followed by 2 field days).
If you are going to be on a splitboard it is imperitive that you are familiar with the gear, how it works, and are proficient at moving on it in the backcountry.  If you are new to both avalanche safety and touring, please check out our our 3-day intro to splitboarding or 3-day intro to ski touring course (splitboarders are allowed in the ski touring course).  These courses will allow you to gain a lot more out of your avalanche course by giving you the ability to go explore the backcountry with efficient movement and necessary skills.  When you sign up for both the intro course and the AIARE Level 1 you will receive a 10% discount on each course.
Plan and prepare for a day in avalanche terrain
Recognize avalanche terrain
Describe a basic framework for making decisions in avalanche terrain
Learn and apply effective companion rescue


You must be a proficient at travelling uphill and downhill in the backcountry to take this course, whether that is on a splitboard or snowshoes.

Difficulty Rating System (Explained Here)
Overall Difficulty Level: Easy to Moderate
Skills Required: Solid intermediate skiing skills or snowshoeing skills
Fitness Level: Not Very Strenuous


Day 1: Classroom Day

• Welcome/Introductions
• What is AIARE
• Course objectives and goals           
• Case study
• Theme of course – Introduction to Decision Making Framework
• Avalanche Types and Characteristics
• Avalanche Terrain
• Planning and Preparation
• Avalanche forecasts
• Telemetry
• Maps and navigation
• Information gathering
• Human factors
• Equipment
• Avalanche Danger Scale
• Observations and Clue Gathering
• Creation of Layers in the Mountain Snowpack

Day 2: Field Day

 Common errors and The Human Factor
• Terrain Selection and Travel Technique
• Introduction to transceivers (function check, battery check)
• Introduction to companion rescue
• Single burial rescue
• Active tests
• Demonstration of travel techniques
• Terrain identification
• Terrain red flag identification
• Terrain management
Day 3: Field Day

• More Active tests
• Test Profile (snow pit)
• Slope angle, aspect, elevation
• Layering
• Compression test
• Extended column test
• Companion Rescue - single burial, shoveling techniques, probing techniques
• Rescue scenario
• Course review/debrief
• Course evaluations
• Question and answer time

Sign up for a course or a trip and receive a 10% discount on purchases and a 20% discount on gear rental.

Pro Ski and Mountain Service is our retail specialty store. It has been located in North Bend, WA since 1999.

The past trips and courses have had a large influence on what we sell. Many of our Pro Guiding customers come on trips and courses with gear they purchased from our store. Not only do we want our clients to have the right gear for the job; we also receive direct feedback from them while they are using it in the field. Trust us - if the gear does not work - we won't sell it.


o 1 Bottom - midweight or lightweight
o 1 Top - midweight or lightweight
o Sock Liners
o Ski Socks
o Windshirt, Soft Shell, Fleece - only one of these is necessary
o Lightweight Waterproof/Breathable Jacket
o Schoeller™  Type Pants
o Warm Hat - should cover ears
o Sun Hat - baseball type or visor
o Lightweight Gloves
o Ski Gloves
o Day Pack – 25 to 40 Liters
o Water Bottles - 1 or 2 liters, wide mouth, hydration system
o Lunch and Snacks - appropriate for a full day
o Sunglasses - adequate for snow travel
o Goggles
o Sunscreen - SPF >25, waterproof
o Lip Balm - SPF 15
o Splitboard or Snowshoes
o Snowboard Boots, or winter boots if snowshoeing
o Poles
o Climbing Skins (or Snowshoes) for uphill travel (required)
o Removable Leashes
o Transceiver - single frequency,  457 kHz only
o Shovel - compact, lightweight, metal blade preferred
o Probe - dedicated probe only, ski poles do not suffice
OPTIONAL ITEMS *We highly recommend these items, but do not require them to participate.
o Snow Saw - longer saws are better for stability tests
o Basic Snow Study Kit - dial stem thermometer(s), crystal card, loupe, ruler
o Notebook and Writing Utensil
o Down or Synthetic Jacket
o Winter Snow Boots – Sorel type
o Thermos - vacuum type
o Compass - adjustable declination a must
o Altimeter - Suunto watch works well
o Map Case - large zip-loc will suffice
o Maps - contact guiding office for appropriate quadrangles
o Technical Gear
o Group 1st Aid Kit
Weston Snowboards

How much time will we be spending indoors versus in the field? About two thirds of the time will be spent outside.

Is there another course that work well in conjunction with the AIARE Level one course? Yes, we believe that the Intro to Ski touring course would work very well. This very application and movement based ski touring course is a great compliment the more principle based AIARE course. This is why we offer a 10% discount for anyone who signs up for both courses.

SHOULD I TIP MY GUIDE? AND HOW MUCH SHOULD I TIP THEM? Although tipping is not a requirement it is considered standard practice in the guiding industry and is appreciated by our guides. We generally recommend roughly 10%-15% of your course or trip cost or flat price tip that you are comfortable with.