Mid-December through May
San Francisco, CA, is 3.5 hours away by car
Beginner to advanced
A must-do for anyone who wants to venture into the backcountry
Brush up on your backcountry safety skills with an AIARE Avalanche Rescue course Lake Tahoe, California. Suitable for both new and more experienced skiers and riders, this is perfect for those who’ve taken AIARE Level 1 and are looking for a refresher, or as a prerequisite for those looking to take their learning further with AIARE Level 2 or Pro 1. All students will have the opportunity to receive professional coaching for their rescue skills and will receive a rescue card acknowledging completion date at the end of the course. Practice skills in a realistic setting, receive feedback from a certified instructor, and keep up with current best practices, all in the stunning terrain of Lake Tahoe.
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AIARE Avalanche Rescue in Lake Tahoe
Enjoy a full day in the backcountry and learn some basic rescue skills in the Lake Tahoe area. Your guide will demonstrate how to use avalanche rescue gear, how to perform a rescue in different scenarios and how to care for a patient while waiting for medical services. Integrate skills and receive feedback on rescue response from a professional guide and gain experience for future adventures!
Attain new knowledge on avalanches, develop your techniques and learn how to perform rescue in case of an incident, with opportunities to cover more advanced techniques. Learn how to employ probing on a line with a partner to reduce search times and how to recognize challenges associated with deep burials. Your professional AIARE certified instructor will explain all the necessary equipment and set up a realistic scenario in order to practice quick and effective avalanche rescue response!
AIARE Avalanche Rescue is a prerequisite for the AIARE 2 and Pro 1 courses. We recommend that all backcountry travelers keep their skills current by taking an Avalanche Rescue Course and receiving a rescue card at least every other year.
At the end of the Avalanche Rescue course the student should be able to:
- Describe what to do if they or a member of their party is caught in an avalanche
- Identify and be able to use gear necessary for avalanche rescue
- Set up a realistic scenario in order to practice an avalanche rescue response
- Improve their response skills and times during and after the course with feedback from instructors and peers
- Develop a plan for continued practice
All students will have the opportunity to get feedback from an instructor on their rescue
skills and timed practice with a realistic scenario.
Students who have previously taken an AIARE 1 or an Avalanche Rescue Course will
find value in having a professional help them set up a realistic scenario, practice skills in
a realistic setting, receive feedback from an instructor, keep up with current best
practices, and have an opportunity to practice advanced rescue skills.
Guides we recommend
Alpenglow ExpeditionsAlpenglow Expeditions
Things you need to know
Covid measures in Lake Tahoe, CA
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 Lake Tahoe, please refer to the Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority and Government of California websites.
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!
Why should I book with 57hours?
With us, it’s all play and no work for you! 57hours is an open platform that connects you with trained and certified outdoor adventure professionals all over the world. Using our tech-savvy, we make it super easy to find and book adventures worth tackling, with guides worth booking, all gathered from the first-hand experiences of the locals who adventure in these amazing locations.
What can I expect from this course?
During your course, you will learn about avalanche rescue, and self-evacuation equipment and their proper use. By spending the day in the Lake Tahoe backcountry, you will learn and implement new skills and techniques. Topics include:
- Personal protective and avalanche rescue equipment
- Demonstration of avalanche rescue
- Breakdown and practice of individuals skills of avalanche rescue: assessing the scene and taking leadership, using a transceiver, using a probe, and shoveling
- Single burial scenarios
- Patient considerations and evacuation
- Scenario practice and feedback
- Advanced topics – Covered depending on student need and interest
- Employ probing on a line with a partner to reduce search times and need for bracketing.
- Apply foundational skills to multiple victim scenarios without close proximity burials.
- Recognize challenges associated with deep burials.
- Employ repeatable method (Micro-strip or 3-circle) for locating close-proximity multiple burials
What you get in this adventure:
- An experienced AIARE certified instructor
- Full-day in the field
- A rescue card acknowledging completion date at course end
What’s not included:
- Technical backcountry ski touring equipment
- Trip insurance
- Transport to and from Lake Tahoe and the meeting point
- Meals and snacks
How fit do I need to be?
In order to enjoy this avalanche course, you need to have an excellent level of fitness. Skiers must be able to hike for many hours at a time while carrying a small pack.
What equipment do I need to bring?
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:
- 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
- Daypack large enough to carry all items listed (around a 30-40L backpack)
- Camera — optional
Can I rent equipment?
All mandatory gear can be rented if you don’t have your own. You can rent:
- Avalanche safety pack, including backpack, beacon, shovel and probe from your guide
- Alpine touring or telemark skis,, splitboards, touring boots and poles can be rented from your guide
If you need to rent gear, let us know and we can help make arrangements.
What’s the itinerary?
Morning — Meet & Greet
Meet your guide and go over the day’s goals.
Rest of Day — Field Work
After a short meet and greet, your team will move into the field and work on your rescue skills.
What is the minimum age requirement?
- Everybody over the age of 18 is welcome to book this backcountry skiing adventure.
- Minors may be permitted to join the course on a case-by-case basis. If you plan to take the course with anyone under the age of 18, please contact us prior to booking to make arrangements.
What about group sizes and pricing?
For this adventure, the max client to guide ratio is 6:1. The cost is per person and does not change due to the group size.
If you’d like to take a private course with just an instructor and your own group, AIARE Avalanche Rescue Courses in Lake Tahoe can be customized to your group’s specific needs. Contact us to make arrangements.
What about bad weather?
Mitigating avalanche risk is paramount for any excursion in the backcountry — that’s why it’s best to tour with a guide! Rest assured, your guide will set objectives that are attainable for the weather conditions on that particular day. Of course, inclement weather can always get in the way of backcountry skiing, but your guide will know the best course of action to take if the weather takes a turn.
On the rare occasion of truly bad weather, your guide will present you with suitable, safe alternatives. The most common practice is to move to a nearby location if it exists, or to reschedule your backcountry ski tour to a more favorable day.
If backcountry skiing is not possible on your scheduled day and no options presented are viable, you will be issued a full refund.
Do I need an insurance policy?
We highly recommended that you cover all your bases with both emergency medical and travel insurance. With medical insurance, if you have an accident or medical emergency on or off the mountain, you’ll avoid paying out of pocket for costly expenses. This covers everything from hospital treatments to emergency air transportation and more.
If you need assistance selecting the right insurance for your group, let us know and we will be happy to help!
With 57hours, you benefit from both our own cancellation policy as well as that of the individual guiding service that delivers your adventure. All policies regarding cancellation will be clearly laid out by your guide after booking your adventure, but rest assured that our own cancellation policy will work on top of what is provided by your guide.
For this adventure, 57hours offers a Moderate Cancellation Policy, which states:
If Client cancels the Booking anytime prior to thirty (30) calendar days in advance of the trip contemplated by the booking, Client is entitled to a full refund. For cancellations fourteen (14) to twenty nine (29) calendar days in advance, Client is entitled to a refund in the amount of fifty percent (50%) of the total amount paid when Booking. For cancellations zero (0) to thirteen (13) days in advance, the Client is not entitled to any refund.
For more information on terms and conditions, please visit our Terms of Service page.
Getting there and meeting location
To get to Lake Tahoe, most people fly into Reno-Tahoe International Airport. From there, you can rent a car or take a shuttle service, such as the South Tahoe Airporter. It is a one-hour drive to the Lake Tahoe area.
Prior to departure, each group will meet at the Alpenglow office located in Squaw Valley. Field sessions will take place in the backcountry near Squaw Valley, Alpine Meadows, or on Donner Pass. Location may change depending on snow conditions.