AIARE Avalanche Level 1 in Jackson Hole

Intermediate
3 days
18+ years
1–4 people
Overview

This course is booked through and operated by Jackson Hole Mountain Guides.

Get down to the backcountry nitty-gritty and brush up or re-educate yourself with AIARE avalanche classes. Our Level 1 course offers an amazing chance to learn all best practices against a stunning backdrop: the Tetons in Jackson, Wyoming.


Going into the backcountry is easy and fun. Making correct and safe decisions aren’t always straightforward when you’re in the field. A fundamental part of any backcountry adventurer’s toolkit is avalanche awareness. Our AIARE Avalanche Level 1 class will give you the foundations for safe backcountry travel. The comprehensive three-day course focuses on:

  • Hazardous conditions and how to recognize and evaluate them
  • Educated decision making on risky terrain
  • Companion rescue in avalanche terrain
  • Navigating winter mountain route selection
  • Evaluating and understanding snowpack

The American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education (AIARE) is the  standard that  informs your curriculum. All of our guides are certified and will use their extensive experience when guiding each participant.

Prerequisites for avalanche education

You don’t need to be an advanced skier or boarder, but you do need to be able to ascend moderate slopes using skins. All participants need to be comfortable making descents in a variety of snow conditions.

  • Take some time to familiarize yourself with all of your gear
  • Make sure it’s all in good working order prior to the class
  • You must have appropriate alpine touring (AT), telemark or split-board equipment
  • Other gear (pack, transceiver, probe, shovel) is available for rent from JHMG
Where we are
A word on travel and preparation
  • Grand Teton National Park is located roughly 30 minutes from the Jackson Hole Mountain Guides’ office in Jackson, WY. The office is located at 1325 S. Highway 89, Suite 104, and shares a parking area with Smith’s. Most trips and classes will meet at this office for gear checks, preparation, and classes.
  • It is helpful to arrive a couple of days prior to your trip/class in order to acclimatize. Otherwise, arrive the day before and stop by the office for an equipment check. Do not plan on traveling the day after a significant climb – you will be tired and there are no guaranteed times when you'll return to the trailhead.
  • Plan on having accommodations for the night prior to and the night you return from a significant climb. There are ample hotels, motels, and bed and breakfasts in Jackson and the surrounding area. It is highly advisable to make reservations as early as possible.
  • The Jackson Hole airport is the closest, but Idaho Falls (2 – 2.5 hour drive) and Salt Lake City (4 – 5 hour drive) are worth considering as well.
Equipment

UPPER LAYERS

BOTTOM LAYERS

  • Bottom Synthetic or Wool Long Underwear Bottoms Guide Pick: Mountain Hardwear Butterman Tight
  • Shell Pant: full side zips and built-in gaiters Guide Pick: Mountain Hardwear Highball Pant
  • Socks: Synthetic or wool. Sized for your boots and blister protection. Liners recommended.

HEAD AND HANDS

  • Gloves  3 pair: 1 light, 1 medium, 1 heavy pair  Guide Pick: Mountain Hardwear Cyclone Alpine Glove
  • Hat: medium weight ski hat
  • Hat: baseball or visor for sun
  • Buff/neck gaiter

ACCESSORIES

Guides running this program

Paul Rachele

Paul is a midwest transplant who drifted to the mountains after college and never really left. Climbing has taken Paul from the deserts of southeast California to the glaciers of central Alaska and everywhere in between. Some of Paul’s most memorable climbing experiences are the Cassin Ridge on Denali and a solo, nighttime ascent of the Hossack-McGowan on the Grand Teton. In the winter, Paul enjoys skiing and ice climbing throughout the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. His most memorable descent was skiing the Grand Teton in boot-top powder, and his favorite run is the Do-Its on Teton Pass. In addition to guiding year-round for Jackson Hole Mountain Guides, Paul is our Avalanche Program Coordinator and Colorado Branch Manager. He is an AMGA/IFMGA Mountain Guide and has completed a Level III Avalanche Course through the American Avalanche Institute.

CERTIFICATIONS

  • WILDERNESS FIRST RESPONDER
  • AMGA CERTIFIED ROCK GUIDE
  • AMGA CERTIFIED ALPINE GUIDE
  • AMGA CERTIFIED SKI GUIDE
  • IFMGA / UIAGM LICENSED MOUNTAIN GUIDE
  • LEVEL III AVALANCHE
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