Lake Tahoe | California

AIARE Avalanche Level 1 in Lake Tahoe

Skill level


Group size

1 – 6 people

As the backcountry season approaches, brush up on your winter terrain skills with AIARE Avalanche Level 1. This course will give all participants a solid backcountry foundation for the upcoming winter season. The scenery and views at Lake Tahoe aren’t too bad either!

Is this avalanche course for me?

This is a three-day comprehensive, introductory course designed for participants with basic ski and snowboarding touring experience.

Here’s what you’ll learn
  • All about Avalanches
    • Types and characteristics
    • Motions
    • Size classifications
    • The metamorphism and layering of the mountain snowpack
  • Avalanche Information and Observation – gathering and assessing the facts
    • Field observation techniques
    • Snowpack tests: rutschblock, compression, extended column
    • Danger factors and red flags
    • Observation checklists
    • Avalanche danger scales
  • Trip Planning and Preparation
    • Terrain recognition, assessment and selection
    • Route finding and travel techniques
    • Decision making couple with the Human Factor
  • Companion Rescue and Equipment
Who should take this course?

This course is for anyone traveling in the backcountry this winter, especially those individuals traveling in groups, in unfamiliar territory.

After this class you’ll
  • Be able to plan and prepare for travel in avalanche terrain
  • Have a solid framework for making decisions in compromised terrain
  • Be able to apply effective companion rescue techniques
Prerequisites for your Avalanche Level 1 course
  • All participants should be comfortable traveling in snow under while carrying touring gear. Though it is a beginner course, excellent physical fitness is required
  • Skiers must be competent resort skiers able to link turns in a variety of terrain and snow conditions

Things you need to know

What's included?

What you get in this adventure:

  • AIARE instructor/AMGA trained/certified ski guide
  • Classroom supplies and AIARE field book

What’s not included:

  • All participants must provide and bring their own backcountry gear
  • AT skis and boots, splitboards, and avalanche equipment are all available to rent through the guiding service at competitive prices
  • Lodging

Gear to bring

  • Hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen
  • Lunch
  • Water and snacks (guides recommend 1-2L of water)
  • Lighter, more breathable layer options than a typical resort layering system. An additional light pair of gloves is preferred for uphill travel
  • Ski poles with powder baskets, or a pair of collapsable poles for splitboarding (These are available at no extra charge if you need them)
  • A backpack, and any avalanche rescue gear you may own. (Our guides recommend packs around 20-30L)

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