AIARE Level 1

AIARE Level 1: Decision Making In Avalanche Terrain

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The AIARE 1 is a 3 day/24 hour introduction to avalanche hazard management.  Students can expect to develop a foundation in how to prepare for and facilitate a backcountry trip including, but not limited to, understanding basic decision-making while in the field, and appropriate rescue techniques required to search, locate, and dig up a buried individual (i.e., if an avalanche occurs and someone in the party is caught and buried).

A final debrief includes a knowledge quiz to test student comprehension and to give feedback to instructors on instructional tools. Students are encouraged and counseled on how to apply the skills learned.  It should be noted, participants also are told that no course can fully guarantee safety, either during or after course completion, and therefore, a link is made to a future AIARE 2 course as means of continued development.

Student Outcomes:

  • Provide a basic understanding of avalanches
  • Describe a framework for decision making and risk management in avalanche terrain
  • Focus on identifying the right questions, rather than on providing “answers.”
  • Give lessons and exercises that are practically oriented, useful, and applicable in the field.

At the end of the Level One 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.

Topics include:

Introduction to the Avalanche Phenomena

  • Types and characteristics of avalanches
  • Avalanche motion
  • Size classification
  • The mountain snowpack: an introduction to metamorphism and layering.

Observations and Information Gathering

  • Field observation techniques
  • Snowpack tests: rutschblock, compression test
  • Avalanche danger factors or “Red Flags”
  • Observation checklist
  • Avalanche danger scale

Trip Planning and Preparation

  • Avalanche terrain recognition, assessment, and selection
  • Route finding and travel techniques
  • Decision making and Human Factors
  • Companion Rescue and Equipment

Prerequisites: No previous avalanche training is required, however, participants must be able to travel in avalanche terrain.  Participants must be 16+ years old to attend this course.

Required equipment:  Participants should bring appropriate outdoor clothing for conditions, adequate water, a nutritious lunch, snacks, notebook and pen, and avalanche gear each day.  See the following equipment list for all AIARE field-based avalanche courses. Some gear available for rent.  Contact us for details.

Schedule: See our upcoming dates below.  Don’t see something that meets your needs?  Simply contact us!

Participants should bring appropriate outdoor clothing for conditions, adequate water, a nutritious lunch, snacks, notebook and pen, and avalanche gear each day.  Some gear available for rent.  Contact us for details.

*Due to course expenses there is a 6 person minimum.

Pricing, Dates, & Scheduling Needs

Below is our pricing, upcoming dates, and scheduling requirements for our upcoming AIARE avalanche education courses.

AIARE Level 1  - Open (Course FULL – accepting waiting list!

  • Dates: January 18-20, 2014
  • Location: Schweitzer Mountain Resort, Sandpoint, Idaho
  • Times: 8:00 – 5:00 PM (times are approximate – based on student needs)
  • Ages: 16+
  • Cost: $250 – $325 (subsidized for  participants 16 – 20)

 AIARE Level 1 – Open (Course FULL – accepting waiting list!) 

  • Dates: January 25-27, 2014
  • Location: Schweitzer Mountain Resort, Sandpoint, Idaho
  • Times: 8:00 – 5:00 PM (times are approximate – based on student needs)
  • Ages: 16+
  • Cost: $250 – $325 (subsidized for participants 16 – 20)

Please note:  Pricing is based on a 6 person minimum.  50% down required to reserve your space (20% non-refundable).  SOLE can cancel courses at any time due to unforeseen circumstances.  If this does occur participants/families will receive full reimbursement for deposit/course fees.

*Denotes:  Pricing eligible for our Youth Scholarship Fund.  If interested please contact us for details.  Cost includes all expenses during course dates (except those which are beyond the norm — e.g., helicopter evacuation).  Pricing does not include transportation to and from “meeting locations”, personal gear, and other specific needs related to individual participants.  Some personal gear available for rent for an additional nominal fee.  We recommend that you purchase refundable airline tickets and/or trip insurance due to unforeseen circumstances for all multi-day SOLE Experiences SM.

Each SOLE Experience SM begins with a FREE thorough consultation to ensure specific objectives are targeted.  Please contact us or click on the “registration” button below to set-up a call.

REGISTER NOW for an Avalanche Education Course!