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. The AIARE Level 1 Course is also offered at Crystal Mountain, and as a Splitboard Only course.
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 LAYERo 1 Bottom - midweight or lightweighto 1 Top - midweight or lightweighto Sock Linerso Ski SocksMID LAYERo Windshirt, Soft Shell, Fleece - only one of these is necessaryOUTERWEARo Lightweight Waterproof/Breathable Jacketo Schoeller™ Type Pantso Warm Hat - should cover earso Sun Hat - baseball type or visoro Lightweight Gloveso Ski GlovesPERSONAL GEARo Day Pack – 25 to 40 Literso Water Bottles - 1 or 2 liters, wide mouth, hydration systemo Lunch and Snacks - appropriate for a full dayo Sunglasses - adequate for snow travelo Goggleso Sunscreen - SPF 25+, waterproofo Lip Balm - SPF 15+SKI OR SNOWBOARD GEARo Touring Skis (randonee), Splitboard or Snowshoeso Touring Ski or snowboard Boots, or winter boots if snowshoeingo Poleso Climbing Skins (or Snowshoes) for uphill travel (required)o Ski Brakes or Removable Ski Leashes SAFETY GEARo Transceiver - single frequency, 457 kHz onlyo Shovel - compact, lightweight, metal blade preferredo Probe - dedicated probe only, ski poles do not sufficeOPTIONAL ITEMS *We highly recommend these items, but do not require them to participate.o Snow Saw - longer saws are better for stability testso Basic Snow Study Kit - dial stem thermometer(s), crystal card, loupe, rulero Notebook and Writing Utensilo Down or Synthetic Jacketo Winter Snow Boots – Sorel typeo Thermos - vacuum typeo Compass - adjustable declination a musto Altimeter - Suunto watch works wello Map Case - large zip-loc will sufficeo Maps - contact guiding office for appropriate quadrangles GROUP GEAR PROVIDED BY PGS o Technical Gearo 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.