If it’s been a while since your last trip to the backcountry and it’s time to refresh your knowledge or you’re looking to stay up to date on the latest gear and avalanche rescue techniques, this one-day AIARE Avalanche Rescue course has got you covered! Develop your skills further and improve your avalanche response time with feedback from your guide and peers. Intended to be retaken on a regular basis every other year, this course is your best refresher before venturing back into the snowy wilderness. Find out more about the importance of safety and managing backcountry risk from Rob Coppolillo, AMGA/IFMGA Mountain Guide.

  • The perfect way to stay up to date in current rescue techniques

  • Sharpen your instincts in the sublime backcountry of Crested Butte

  • Freshen up your skills with hands-on experience


Get back into shape before your next trip to the backcountry and stay up to speed in current avalanche rescue techniques. This standalone one-day avalanche rescue course is the perfect way to get used to the latest gear, improve your reaction time in emergency situations, and enjoy a beautiful day on untracked snow!

Meet your guide

Irwin Guides
Irwin Guides
Whether snow, ice, mountain, rock, trail or water, Irwin Guides is setting the standard in the world of adventure sports with local, knowledgeable, IFMGA/AMGA certified guides.

Things to know

  • 57hours is committed to providing safe outdoor adventure experiences. We require all guides using our platform to have a COVID-19 safety plan and to make the details of that plan accessible to travelers. In most cases, group sizes will be reduced, guides will avoid overcrowded locations, and other safety measures will be met depending on the location and activity.

    We also expect clients to respect local regulations and take measures to protect themselves, guides and the communities they’re travelling to. For more information on COVID-19 measures in Crested Butte, CO please refer to the Official Colorado COVID-19 Update Website.

    Please contact us if you have any questions or require further information. We are happy to provide you with the most up-to-date information!

  • What you get in this adventure:

      • A professional backcountry guide/AIARE-qualified instructor
      • AIARE Avalanche Rescue Card upon completion of the course
      • Knowledge of the areas/routes you’ll be visiting during the course
      • Rescue access, coordination, and response if necessary
      • A full day of study in the field

    What’s not included:

      • Avalanche safety gear
      • Technical backcountry ski touring equipment
      • Accommodation
      • Food and snacks
  • In order to get the most of this adventure, you need to have a moderate level of fitness. You will be on your feet for a full day. You will need to manage controlled descents in variable conditions. All participants should feel comfortable on challenging blue or black level resort runs and be able to carry a loaded daypack while skinning up variable degrees of terrain.

    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 should be comfortable traveling in snow while carrying touring gear. There are no other prerequisites.

  • For technical backcountry ski touring gear, you will need to bring:

      • Alpine touring skis, telemark skis or splitboard with skins (can be rented)
      • Touring boots and poles (can be rented)
      • Avalanche safety equipment (can be rented):
        • Digital, 3-antenna avalanche transceiver or beacon
        • Lightweight snow shovel
        • Avalanche probe

    For personal items, we recommend bringing:

      • Helmet
      • Sunglasses or ski goggles
      • Gloves and hat
      • Wind and waterproof shell jacket with hood (Gore-Tex recommended)
      • Ski pants (Gore-Tex recommended)
      • Down jacket or vest
      • Synthetic or wool base layers, underwear and socks
      • One triple-action locking carabiner or two conventional locking carabiners
      • Repair kit and Leatherman for your equipment (can be shared between several people)
      • Water bottle and 1L of water
      • Thermos with a warm beverage — optional
      • Food you can eat on-the-go
      • First-aid kit
      • Sunscreen
      • Daypack large enough to carry all items listed (around a 30-40L backpack)
      • Camera — optional
  • All mandatory gear can be rented if you don’t have your own. You can rent:

      • Avalanche safety pack, including the beacon, shovel and probe can be rented from your guide
      • Alpine touring or telemark skis, touring boots and poles can be rented from The Alpineer in Crested Butte
      • Splitboard set-up can be rented from your guide

    Gear rental locations are in Crested Butte and should be picked up the night prior to your outing. If you need to rent gear, let us know and we can help make arrangements.

  • Group sizes and prices:

      • These courses are not private. For the group courses, the usual guest-to-guide ratio is 6:1. Groups usually consist of 12 people with 2 guides.
      • Cost is per person and it doesn’t decrease as the group grows.

    AIARE Avalanche Rescue Courses in Crested Butte can be arranged for larger groups. Contact us to make arrangements.

    Min. age requirements:

      • You must be at least 16 years old to participate.
  • The simplest way to reach Crested Butte is by taking a flight to Denver International Airport. From there, it’s a 4-5 hour drive to Crested Butte, depending on the weather conditions. Renting a car is recommended.

    Once you and your guide agree on the details of your itinerary, your guide will suggest the best place to meet, whether that’s at the guide shop or at a backcountry trailhead within 20 min of Crested Butte. You will be informed about the location via email in advance. Be aware that the location may be subject to change based on the weather or snow coverage conditions.

Have more questions? Read our FAQ,

Learning outcomes

At the end of this one-day avalanche rescue course, you should be able to:

    • Describe the right course of action if caught in an avalanche
    • Identify and use the right avalanche rescue gear
    • Set up a realistic scenario to practice your rescue response
    • Improve your reaction time and develop a plan for future practice
From $250
/ 1 day
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