1 – 6 people
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: Aspen, Colorado.
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
- First day: 5:00pm: Meet at Aspen Expeditions’ Backcountry Center
- Second day: 8:30am: start, combination classroom and field instruction, 5:30 pm evening classroom
- Third day: Start determined by instructor for a field day
Things you need to know
- AIARE instructor/AMGA trained/certified ski guide
- Use of avalanche beacon, shovel, probe & ski pack
- AIARE dues ($15), AIARE field book ($29.95)
- 3% USFS land use surcharge
What's not included?
- Personal skiing equipment (Alpine Touring (AT) ski, or snowboard equipment (available for demo at $15 discount)
- Single ride lift tickets ($30 – often the instructors use Aspen Mountain to gain access to higher elevation snow which would require a lift ticket for a one time gondola ride)
- Lunch/snack food
Gear. What to bring?
The following items are provided for your day tour:
- Day-tour backpack: (airbag available)
- Avalanche Transceiver
- Avy shovel: metal blade is a must
- Socks: Wool or synthetic ski socks
- Base layers: Synthetic, wool or silk bottom, underwear and top
- Mid Layer: Synthetic or wool zip shirt
- Hard Shell or Softshell pants: A pair with side vents are best.
- Insulated vest or jacket: down or synthetic.
- Water bottle
- Small thermos: (Optional)
- Sunscreen and lip balm: water/sweat-proof
- Toiletries, Personal first-aid kit: for your personal meds/needs
- Camera or Smartphone
- Lunch/Snack food