SOLE Avalanche Education Experiences


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:  TBA
Location: We can come to you!  Whether you are a government agency, snowmobile club, or traditional school classroom!  If you want a hybrid or field-based course we will over those at one of our Field Campus sites, including 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 – $45 / person (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.

Ready to register?

Click on the button below to secure your space today!

Overview:


Know the snow and prepare for the unexpected.  The AIARE Recreational Level 1 (AIARE 1) is a three-day / 24-hour introduction to avalanche hazard management.  Students can expect to develop a sound understanding of how to prepare for and carry out a backcountry trip in avalanche terrain, to understand basic decision making while in the field, and to learn companion rescue techniques required to find and dig up a buried person (if an avalanche occurs and someone in the party is caught).

Student Outcomes:


At the end of the AIARE 1 course the student should be able to:

  • Develop a plan for travel in avalanche terrain.
  • Demonstrate the ability to identify avalanche terrain.
  • Effectively use the AIARE Decision Making Framework to make terrain choices in a group setting
  • Demonstrate effective companion rescue.

Who should take this course:


The AIARE 1 is for anyone, regardless of method of travel, who wants to recreate in or near avalanche terrain. Participants may have attended some awareness classes or workshops or completed the Avalanche Rescue course, but none are a prerequisite for this course.

Aspiring professionals will need to take the AIARE 1 (or equivalent) and Avalanche Rescue as a prerequisite for the Pro 1 course.

AIARE 1 Course Outline (24 hours including both class and field instruction)


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:

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

Upcoming AIARE 1 Courses:


Dates | Course Location | Cost:  

  • January 6th – 8th, 2018 #
    • Course Type: Backcountry / Town Based | Ski / Board | Open | Co-Ed
    • Location: TBA
    • Cost: $335 Member | $345 Non-Member.
  • January 13th – 15th, 2018 #
  • January 19th – January 21st, 2018 *
  • Feburary 24 – 26th, 2018 ^

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, AIARE 1 completion card, and other benefits.  Additional discounts/incentives given for private groups 8 and above (except backcountry-based courses).  Lodging discounts available possible for these courses through our partner businesses. Participants responsible for transportation to and from course venue and meals.

* Includes all of the above, lodging, and a deep discount offered through our partnership program with SheJumps!  Participants responsible for transportation to and from course venue and meals.

^Includes all of the above, shuttling of gear to course areas, breakfast, and dinners.  Participants responsible for transportation to and from course venue and bringing specialty snacks and food for lunches.

Please note:  Youth (between the ages of 16 – 25) and women are strongly encouraged to apply for a scholarship through SOLE’s Kip Rand Scholarship Fund.  Contact us at: info@soleexperiences.org to learn more.

Ready to register?

Click on the button below to secure your space today!

Overview:


Prepare for the unexpected!  

AIARE Avalanche Rescue is a one-day stand alone course that is intended to be retaken on a regular basis in order to keep abreast of best practices in rescue techniques and gear. New participants will learn the basics of companion rescue, while return participants will expand their skill set with advanced topics and realistic practice scenario to help improve their skills after the course.

Course Description:


During your AIARE Avalanche Rescue each participant will have the opportunity to receive professional coaching their rescue skills and will receive a rescue card acknowledging completion date at course end.

AIARE Avalanche Rescue is a prerequisite for the AIARE 2 and Pro 1 courses. AIARE recommends that all backcountry travelers keep their skills current by taking an Avalanche Rescue Course and receiving a rescue card at least every other year.

Student Outcomes:


Photo: Grant Gunderson courtesy of AIARE

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

  • Describe what to do if they or a member of their party is caught in an avalanche
  • Identify and be able to use gear necessary for avalanche rescue.
  • Set up a realistic scenario in order to practice an avalanche rescue response.
  • Improve their response skills and times during and after the course with feedback from instructors and peers.
  • Develop a plan for continued practice

 

All students will have the opportunity to get feedback from an instructor on their rescue skills and timed practice with a realistic scenario.

Students who have previously taken an AIARE 1 or an Avalanche Rescue Course will find value in having a professional help them set up a realistic scenario, practice skills in a realistic setting, receive feedback from an instructor, keep up with current best practices, and have an opportunity to practice advanced rescue skills.

Who Should Take this Course:


The Avalanche Rescue Course is a one-day course aimed both at new and experienced recreationists, and aspiring snow professionals.

AIARE Avalanche Rescue Course Outline:


Personal protective and avalanche rescue equipment

  • Identify and familiarize students with winter personal protective, avalanche rescue, and self-evacuation equipment and their proper use
  • Demonstrate and practice routines to check gear’s function

Demonstrate avalanche rescue

  • Introduce Avalanche Rescue Quick Reference tool and apply it to a scenario
  • Breakdown and practice individuals skills of avalanche rescue: assessing the scene and taking leadership, using a transceiver, using a probe, and shoveling

Single burial scenarios

  • Learn to set up effective scenarios for practice
  • Integrate individual skills into a rescue scenario

Patient considerations and evacuation

  • Identify potential patient care considerations resulting from avalanche burial or involvement
  • Name equipment for self-evacuation and communication to outside resources
  • Describe considerations when interfacing with Search and Rescue and Emergency Medical Services

Scenario practice and feedback

  • Integrate skills and receive feedback on rescue response from a professional

Advanced topics – Covered depending on student need and interest

  • Employ probing on a line with a partner to reduce search times and need for bracketing.
  • Apply foundational skills to multiple victim scenarios without close proximity burials.
  • Recognize challenges associated with deep burials.
  • Employ repeatable method (Micro-strip or 3-circle) for locating close-proximity multiple burials

Prerequisites:


Ability to travel in avalanche terrain.  Required equipment for all avalanche courses: Equipment List

Upcoming AIARE Avalanche Rescue Courses:


Dates & Times:  Feburary 27th, 2018 | 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM | Downing Mountain Lodge | Hamilton, Montana Additional dates to be announced SOON!
Location: Schweitzer Mountain, ID (21 and under courses) | Lookout Pass, ID/MT (21 and under courses) | Downing Mountain Lodge, Hamilton, MT | Mt. Spokane, WA | and/or Flatiron Mountain, MT*
Ages: 16 + y/o
Cost: $180 Member | $200 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.

Ready to regsiter?

Click on the button below to secure your space today!

Overview:


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Take your avalanche education to the next level.

AIARE’s Recreational Level 2 (AIARE 2) is a three-day/24-hour course that provides backcountry travelers an opportunity to advance their decision-making skills in more complicated situations such as being a leader within a small travel group, traveling in more complicated terrain, and/or developing a travel plan where online resources are scarce.

The AIARE 2 builds on the introductory avalanche hazard management model introduced in the AIARE 1 and adds to it the evaluation of critical hazard assessment factors. Students will describe and discuss weather, snowpack and avalanche processes, and identify how these processes relate to observations and travel within avalanche terrain.

Student Outcomes:


  1. Differentiate where specific avalanche hazards exist within the landscape and identify avalanche terrain where consequences may be more severe.
  2. Use and interpret weather, snow, and avalanche observations to locate appropriate terrain prior to entering and while in the field.
  3. Demonstrate leadership skills within a small team that includes facilitating small group discussion, promoting appropriate terrain selection, and utilizing simple risk management strategies.
  4. Implement a basic forecasting framework that can be used in conjunction with and in the absence of local supporting avalanche information.

Who should take this course:


The AIARE 2 is a three-day course for those who have taken an AIARE 1 and Avalanche Rescue and have had at least a year of backcountry travel experience. The AIARE 2 provides backcountry leaders the opportunity to advance their avalanche knowledge and decision-making skills.

AIARE 2 Course Outline:


Day 1: The Changing Mountain Snowpack

  • AIARE 1 Review
  • Mountain Weather
  • The Layered Mountain Snowpack
  • Trip Planning Review
  • Snow Pit Profiles in the Field

Day 2: Making Quality Observations

  • Avalanche Formation and Release
  • Interpreting Weather Data, Snow Surface Conditions, and Snow Profiles
  • Craftsmanship, Relevancy, and Verification of Snow Observations
  • Risk Management in Small Groups
  • Snowpack Test in the Field

Day 3: Applying Observations to Field Decisions

  • Traveling in the Field as a Small Team
  • Field Risk Management and During Action Review

Communicating Observations to our group, other travelers, and local experts

Prerequisites:


Participants must have the ability to travel in avalanche terrain. An AIARE 1 Course (strongly recommended) or equivalent Rec Level 1 training is required. A winter of practical experience after the AIARE 1 course is strongly recommended before taking the AIARE 2 course.  Also, participants must complete an AIARE or AAA approved one-day Avalanche Rescue Course prior to taking the AIARE 2.

Equipment:


Required equipment for all avalanche courses: Equipment List

Upcoming AIARE 2 Courses:


Dates: February 28th – March 2nd, 2018 ^ 
Course Type: Backcountry-Based | Ski / Board | Co-Ed
Location:
Downing Mountain Lodge | Hamilton, Montana
Cost:
$535 Member | $545 Non-Member 

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

Ready to register?

Click on the button below to secure your space today!