Offered November through April
Whether you ski, climb, snowshoe, snowboard or snowmobile in the backcountry, recognition of avalanche danger is an essential and potentially lifesaving skill. This class is a great primer for the AIARE Level 1 course and ideal for families and individuals who want an introduction to safety considerations when venturing out into the mountains in winter. The course takes place in Rocky Mountain National Park.
Through direct “hands on” investigation we address the following topics:
- How do I stay safe traveling in the mountains during the winter?
- Ways to avoid avalanches
- What is an avalanche and how do avalanches happen?
- Interpretation of daily avalanche bulletin (pre-trip planning)
- Identify avalanche types, terrain & hazards
- Discuss and practice backcountry travel techniques
- Discuss and demonstrate avalanche safety equipment including beacons and probe poles
- Companion rescue techniques
The AIARE Level 1 Course begins the basic foundation for understanding avalanche hazards and developing safe travel practices in avalanche terrain. Taking this course should be everyone’s first step before venturing into the backcountry in winter. The goal of this AIARE Level 1 Course is for students to learn the basics of snow pack science, terrain analysis, and to be able to formulate a good decision making process.
This 26 hour course involves instruction, evening classroom lectures, video and discussion, and at least 16 hours of fieldwork. Students will also learn the elements of companion avalanche rescue and practice using realistic scenarios.
The course is designed for all types of backcountry travelers, snowshoers, backcountry skiers, snowboarders, mountaineers, ski patrol, and mountain guides.