Avalanche Course - AIARE Level 1 - Snoqualmie Pass

This 3-day Level 1 Avalanche Course is an introduction to using decision making tools to help a group manage risk while traveling in avalanche terrain.   You will learn how to recognize avalanche terrain and make appropriate decisions about your travel in the backcountry based on an avalanche forecast.  You will also be introduced to topics such as mountain weather, snow pack analysis, tour planning, hazard recognition and evaluation, transceiver searches, and much more.  Upon completion you will receive a Level 1 certificate from the American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education (AIARE).

$375.00
Difficulty rating and Skill requirements

Difficulty Rating System Explained

Overall Difficulty Level: Easy to Moderate

Skills Required: Solid intermediate skiing skills or snowshoeing skills

Fitness Level: Not Very Strenuous

  • Category: Ski
  • Ratio: 6:1,12:2

* Required Fields


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. 
 
If you are going to be on a ski touring setup or 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 ski touring, please check out our our 3-day intro to splitboarding or 3-day intro to 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.
 
STUDENT LEARNING OUTCOMES:
 
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
 
 
This 24 hour course is a combination of lectures and fieldwork. We offer it in two different formats*:
• 3 consecutive days: Friday - Sunday 8am to 4pm (1 classroom day followed by 2 field days) or
• 2 evening sessions at Pro Ski and Mountain Service of North Bend (Tuesday and Thursday 6:30pm to 9:30 pm), and two field days at Snoqualmie Pass (Saturday and Sunday 8am to 4pm).
PLEASE NOTE: WHEN CHOOSING DATES IN THE DROP-DOWN MENU, THE DATES WITH A 3-DAY RANGE ARE THE FRIDAY-SUNDAY COURSES. THE DATES WITH A 6-DAY RANGE ARE THE TUES/THURS. EVENING WITH WEEKEND FIELD-DAY COURSES.

*We are offering one Monday-Wednesday class February 25-27th (1 classroom day followed by 2 field days)
 
The AIARE Level 1 Course is also offered at Crystal Mountain, and as a Splitboard Only course.   
 

PREREQUISITES:


You must be a proficient at travelling uphill and downhill in the backcountry to take this course, whether that is on alpine ski touring gear (randonee), a splitboard, telemark skis, 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



 

COURSE CURRICULUM
 
Classroom Evening One (or 1st full 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
 
Classroom Evening Two (or 1st full day):

• 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
 
Field Day One:

 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
 
 Field Day Two:

• 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.


AIARE LEVEL 1 AVALANCHE CLASS EQUIPMENT LIST


BASE  LAYER
o 1 Bottom - midweight or lightweight
o 1 Top - midweight or lightweight
o Sock Liners
o Ski Socks
MID LAYER
o Windshirt, Soft Shell, Fleece - only one of these is necessary
OUTERWEAR
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
PERSONAL GEAR
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+
SKI OR SNOWBOARD GEAR
o Touring Skis (randonee), Splitboard or Snowshoes
o Touring Ski or snowboard Boots, or winter boots if snowshoeing
o Poles
o Climbing Skins (or Snowshoes) for uphill travel (required)
o Ski Brakes or Removable Ski Leashes
 SAFETY GEAR
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
 GROUP GEAR PROVIDED BY PGS  
o Technical Gear
o Group 1st Aid Kit
 

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


Where will we meet? For the three day consequtive courses you will be notified of your meeting location for your classroom roughly 10 days before your course. For the courses with the two evening classes we will meet at Pro Ski Ski and Mountain Service (108 West North Bend Way, North Bend, WA). 


You will be contacted by the instructors or the office directly regarding the exact meeting time and location.


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.