Avalanche Education Experiences


AIARE-Level-1

SOLE partners with the American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education (AIARE) to offer avalanche education in the North Idaho, Western Montana, and Eastern Washington.  As an AIARE Avalanche Education Provider, SOLE provides participants with the most updated and standardized curriculum in the industry.  This ensures that individuals are equipped with the necessary tools to exercise sound judgment and decision-making in a winter backcountry environment, as well as, respond effectively and efficiently should the need arise.

Click on the tabs below for more info on our Avalanche Education Experiences SM Program! 

Overview:


Developing the awareness is half the battle!  Our Avalanche Awareness Courses are perfect for the winter outdoor recreational enthusiast that is looking to become more adventurous or the educator in a traditional or non-traditional school setting looking to enhance their current curriculum.  Facilitated by outdoor professionals with real world experience, our 1 – 6 hours Avalanche Awareness Courses provide a basic introduction to the avalanche phenomena, and firm foundation to build off of for future coursework.

Student learning outcomes:


At the end of the Avalanche Awareness course the student should be able to:

  • Have a basic understanding of the avalanche phenomena.
  • Have a basic understanding of what avalanche terrain looks like.
  • Have a basic understanding of avalanche related gear.
  • Have a basic understanding of avalanche resources.
  • Have a basic understanding of appropriate next steps for avalanche education.

Instructional sessions (1 – 6 hours including both class and/or field instruction) :


  1. Overview of the avalanche phenomena.
  2. Overview of avalanche terrain.
  3. Overview of avalanche related gear and equipment.
  4. Overview of avalanche related resources.

Upcoming Avalanche Awareness Courses:


Pre-Requisites: No pre-requisites required. No equipment required unless course will be outdoors.
Dates & Times:  TBD
Location: Schweitzer Mountain, ID (21 and under courses) | Lookout Pass, ID/MT (21 and under courses) |Mt. Spokane, WA | and/or Flatiron Mountain, MT*
Ages: 10 + y/o
Cost: FREE – $35 (contingent upon course type)

*It should be noted, all course locations are subject to permitting and condition considerations and will be finalized a month out.  However, all course locations are within driving distance of each other.

Overview:


Know the snow and prepare for the unexpected.  The AIARE Level 1 course is a 3 day/24 hour introduction to avalanche hazard management.

Students can expect to develop a good grounding in how to prepare for and carry out a trip, to understand basic decision making while in the field, and to learn rescue techniques required to find and dig up a buried person (if an avalanche occurs and someone in the party is caught).

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 and told that no course can fully guarantee safety, either during or after course completion. A link is made to a future AIARE 2 course.

Student learning outcomes:


At the end of the AIARE Level 1 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.

Instructional sessions (24 hours including both class and field instruction) :


DSC014371. Introduction to the Avalanche Phenomena

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

2. Observations and Information Gathering

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

3. Trip Planning and Preparation

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

4. Companion Rescue and Equipment

Upcoming AIARE Level 1 Courses :


Pre-Requisites:

  • 16 years of age or older
  • Able to travel in avalanche terrain
  • Required equipment for all avalanche courses: Equipment List

Dates | Course Location | Cost:  

  • December 16th – 18th, 2016 ^  COURSE FULL ACCEPTING WAIT LIST.
  • Jan 17th – 19th, 2017 ^COURSE FULL ACCEPTING WAIT LIST.
  • Jan 20 – Jan 22, 2017 *COURSE FULL ACCEPTING WAIT LIST.
  • Feb 3 – 5th, 2017 #COURSE FULL ACCEPTING WAIT LIST.

Locations: Schweitzer Mountain, ID (21 and under courses) | Lookout Pass, ID/MT (21 and under courses) | Mt. Spokane, WA | Flatiron Mountain, MT (all course types) | Downing Mountain Lodge, Hamilton, MT (backcountry-based courses)

It should be noted:  All course locations are subject to permitting and condition considerations and will be finalized a month out.  However, all course locations are within driving distance of each other.

# Pricing includes certified AIARE Field Instructors, AIARE Field Notebook, AIARE Student Manual, one-way lift tickets for resort-based courses / transportation to course areas, and other benefits.  Additional discounts / incentives given for private groups 6 and above (except backcountry-based courses).  Lodging discounts available for these courses through our partner businesses.

* Includes all of the above, and other benefits offered through SheJumps!

^Pricing includes certified AIARE Field Instructors, AIARE Field Notebook, AIARE Student Manual,  transportation / shuttling of gear to course areas, food, lodging.

Overview:


Let’s face it you don’t use it, you lose it.  The AIARE Level 1 Refresher Course is a 1 day/8 + hour hybrid course intentionally designed to review and renew concepts and skills covered in your AIARE Level 1 Course.  As such, students are expected to complete a pre-course study from their AIARE Level 1 course and be prepared for a full-day in the field.

Student learning outcomes:


At the end of the AIARE 1 Refresher 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.

Instructional sessions (8 + hours including both class and field instruction) :


  1. Revisiting the avalanche phenomena.
  2. Revisiting observations and information gathering.
  3. Revisiting trip planning and preparation.
  4. Revisiting companion rescue and equipment.

Upcoming AIARE Level 1 Refreshers:


Pre-Requisites: Successful completion of an AIARE Level 1 Course; Required equipment for all avalanche courses: Equipment List
Dates & Times:  TBA
Location: Schweitzer Mountain, ID (21 and under courses) | Lookout Pass, ID/MT (21 and under courses) | Mt. Spokane, WA | and/or Flatiron Mountain, MT*
Ages: 16 + y/o
Cost: $110 Member | $125 Non-Member

*It should be noted, all course locations are subject to permitting and condition considerations and will be finalized a month out.  However, all course locations are within driving distance of each other.

^ Pricing includes certified AIARE Field Instructors, one-way lift tickets for resort-based courses, and other benefits.  Additional discounts / incentives given for private groups above 10.

Overview:


DSCN0357

Take your avalanche education to the next level. The AIARE Level 2 course is a 4-day program that provides backcountry leaders the opportunity to advance their avalanche knowledge and decision making skills. This course also includes the introductory and prerequisite components for the professional progression: the AIARE 3 certificate.

The AIARE 2 builds from the introductory avalanche hazard management model introduced in the level one and adds to it the evaluation of factors critical to stability evaluation.

Student Learning Outcomes:


  1. Advance understanding of avalanche terrain, particularly from the perspective of stability analysis.
  2. Discuss how the snowpack develops and metamorphoses over time; and discuss the factors that contribute to spatial variability.
  3. Learn standard observation guidelines and recording formats for factors that influence or indicate snow stability. SWAG MODULE.
  4. Advance understanding of avalanche release and triggering mechanisms.
  5. Introduce a snow stability analysis and forecasting framework.
  6. Improve companion rescue skills including multiple and deep burials.

Instructional Sessions (40 hours including both class and field) include:


  1. AIARE 1 ReviewIMG_3827
  2. Energy balance, the mountain snowpack and metamorphism
  3. Faceting; near surface and near crust faceting
  4. Formation of surface hoar and persistent weak layers
  5. Skier Triggering: theory and observations
  6. International and national snow, weather and avalanche observation and recording guidelines (SWAG).
    1. Weather; interpreting forecasts, recording and observation techniques
    2. Snow profile techniques and bonding tests
    3. Avalanche observations and recording techniques
  7. Stability analysis checklist: reviewing critical factorsStability ratings
    1. Daily stability forecasts and analysis
  8. Trip Planning and hazard forecasting for avalanche terrain.
    1. The avalanche danger ratings
    2. Terrain analysis using maps/photos
    3. Forecasting stability and variability
  9. Terrain selection and route finding
    1. Group management and hazard management
    2. Decision making
    3. Human factors
  10. Information gathering
    1. Site selection and relevancy
    2. Spatial variability
    3. Slope tests
  11. Companion Rescue
    1. AIARE 1 techniques review
    2. Multiple burial
    3. Shovel techniques

Upcoming AIARE Level 2 Courses :


Pre-Requisites: Able to travel in avalanche terrain; An AIARE 1 Course (strongly recommended) or equivalent Level 1 training is required. A winter of practical experience after the Level 1 course is required before taking the AIARE 2 course. Required equipment for all avalanche courses: Equipment List

Dates: March 10th – 13th, 2017 ^ COURSE FULL ACCEPTING WAIT LIST.
Course Type: Backcountry-Based | Ski / Board | Co-Ed
Location:
Downing Mountain Lodge | Hamilton, Montana
Cost:
$675 Member | $695 Non-Member 

 

It is important to note: Course fees are all inclusive and include AIARE related fees, manuals, transportation and/or gear shuttle, lodging (with sauna and hot tub), and food!  

Ready to register?

Follow the simple steps below.

  1. Click on the button below and complete the form.  Make sure to enter when you would like to complete your free consultation call, if you have not done so already.
  2. Submit your Program Deposit via our eCommerce Page when redirected.
  3. Upon receipt, complete student paperwork and fax / email to us.
  4. Set up transportation and accommodations for program (if necessary).
  5. Review personal clothing and gear list and complete.
  6. Pack and head out!