Colorado’s Summit County boasts plenty of powder stashes and thrilling—but never forgiving—backcountry rides. That said, every off-piste enthusiast needs to be able to identify risks and protect themselves while enjoying the winter wilderness. This 3-day Summit County AIARE 1 course will introduce you to how to mitigate the hazards of traveling in avalanche terrain. This includes everything from understanding and using the avalanche safety equipment and reading avalanche forecasts to the basics of route selection and trip planning. There are 3 ways in which this course is operated—you can opt either for hut-based, lift-accessed, or splitboard-specific programs. Choose your program, join your guide, and learn how to stay safe in the backcountry!

  • Enjoy high-altitude powder-laden slopes and learn about avalanche safety

  • Learn how to select routes and prepare your backcountry trips

  • In-depth 3-day courses with 24+ hours of classroom and field education

Choose itinerary

Standard AIARE Level 1 Course in Summit County
Feb 10|Feb 24|Mar 10|+5 more
Lift-Accessed AIARE Level 1 Course in Summit County
Mar 06
Splitboard-Specific AIARE Level 1 Course in Summit County
Mar 03
Hut-Based AIARE Level 1 Course in Summit County
Feb 17|Feb 27|Mar 31

Meet your guide

Colorado Adventure Guides
5.00
Colorado Adventure Guides
Colorado Adventure Guides are dedicated to impact lives through adventure. Their philosophy has always been to share this beautiful place in which we live by providing guests with safe, fun, and educational experiences.
5.00 (5 reviews)
Professional, Knowledgable, and Fun
Dylan B. about Colorado Adventure Guides on Tripadvisor

Justin and Sunshine at Colorado Adventure Guides were great! My partner and I took the AIARE 1 course with CAG in early December 2019. Both instructors were professional, friendly, knowledgeable and fun to be around. We took the 3 day course; day 1 was a classroom day with the next two as field days. Safety started before even being at the trailhead. Both Justin and Sunshine were able to give us concise comments when practicing in the event of a burial. When searching on the AIARE website, CAG appeared to be the most affordable provider. Overall, great instructors with great attitudes. 10/10 would recommend!

Jeff Kirk about Colorado Adventure Guides on Google Reviews

I took the Aiare level 1 course.  These guy did a great job and made the course fun.  I learned a ton and am confident in my new skills.  I highly recommend them.

Jeff Orford about Colorado Adventure Guides on Google Reviews

My 16-year-old son and I took an Avalanche 1 course thru CAG.  There were many things that were excellent, but the thing that sticks out in my mind is how respectfully the instructors spoke with my young man, it made the experience extra special for him.

Nathan Miller about Colorado Adventure Guides on Google Reviews

I’ve been very impressed with CAG.  I’ve taken a Avalanche education course and used them for guiding a ski tour.  They run a very professional operation, seem very skilled, and generally are just nice people.  I’d recommend them highly.

Dustin McQuate about Colorado Adventure Guides on Google Reviews

Took the 3 day AIARE 1 course with Justin and Sunshine as my instructors. Both Justin and Sunshine were organized, extremely knowledgeable and did a great job of conveying the course material in a logical, easy to understand manner, during the classroom portion. We toured with each guide for a day and they were both terrific in the field. I especially appreciated that they employed just the right combination of instruction mixed with allowing the students to do for themselves. Both were always available to answer any and all of the many questions we had. Most importantly, I feel as though CAG gave me the tools and base knowledge to gain more experience on my own and to become safer in the BC. I’m sure Ill be heading back to CAG for more education/ guiding in the near future. I couldnt be happier with my experience with CAG.

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, their guides, and the communities they’re traveling to. For more information on COVID-19 measures in the Summit County, Colorado, please refer to Colorado’s COVID-19 travel guidelines.

    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: 

      • An experienced, certified guide with extensive knowledge of the area
      • A day of regular/virtual classroom education and 2 days in the field
      • E-Learning materials and Student Manual for AIARE Level 1 (sent one month prior to course)
      • Student manual and weather-proof AIARE field book
      • Use of beacon, shovel and probe (if needed)
      • Accommodation in the hut and meals (only for the Hut-Based Course)

    What’s not included:

      • Technical backcountry ski touring equipment (can be rented directly from your guide)
      • Accommodation (except for the Hut-Based Course)
      • Food and snacks (except for the Hut-Based Course)
      • Transportation to and from the designated meeting place
      • Guide gratuities—optional
      • Lift tickets (for the Lift-Accessed AIARE 1 Course) 
      • Travel Insurance
      • Airfare
      • Parking
      • Permits
  • In order to get the most of this adventure, you need to have a good 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.  All participants should be comfortable traveling in snow off-trail on ungroomed or unmaintained terrain while carrying touring gear. The courses can be taken on alpine touring skis or splitboards: all participants should be familiar with their touring gear and have experience on their setup prior to taking this course. 

    If you have no prior experience of backcountry skiing, we suggest you check out this beginner-friendly backcountry tour in the Summit County.

  • 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 — optional 
      • Sunglasses or ski goggles
      • Gloves and brimmed hat/visor
      • Light gloves for uphill travel 
      • 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
      • Water bottle and 1L of water
      • Thermos with a warm beverage — optional
      • Food you can eat on-the-go
      • Sunscreen
      • Daypack large enough to carry all items listed (a 40L backpack)
      • Pillow case, sleeping bag, and head lamp (only for the Hut-Based Course)
      • Camera — optional
  • 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 directly from Colorado Adventure Guides at their Silverthorne, CO Basecamp (no additional fee)
      • Alpine touring or telemark skis, touring boots and poles can be rented directly from Colorado Adventure Guides at their Silverthorne, CO Basecamp 
      • Splitboards can be rented directly from Colorado Adventure Guides at their our Silverthorne, CO Basecamp

    Ski rental locations are in Silverthorne, CO and equipment 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. You can rent your gear package upon booking at a discounted rate.

  • Group sizes and pricing:

      • For this group course, the max client to guide ratio is 6:1.
      • Cost is per person and doesn’t decrease as the group grows.

    AIARE 1 courses in Summit County, CO can be arranged for larger groups. Contact us to make arrangements.

    Min. age requirements:

      • If you are older than 18, you’re good to go.
      • Minors may be permitted to join private tours on a case-by-case basis. 

    If your group has skiers under the age of 18, contact us prior to booking to make arrangements.

  • To get to Summit County, most people fly into Denver International Airport just under 2 hours away from Summit County. From there, you can rent a car or take a bus.

    Once you and your guide agree on the details of your itinerary, you will usually meet your guide at your guiding service’s basecamp in Silverthorne, CO, but you will receive more details in the weeks prior to the course dates that will include the exact meeting time and location, depending on the chosen program/whether you chose the dates with virtual/regular classroom education. The guide will choose the appropriate terrain dependent on conditions and the ability of the group during field session days.

Have more questions? Read our FAQ,
Download backcountry skiing gear checklist
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