New Hampshire hides some of the best backcountry skiing in the Northeast. While NH may be more famous for the magnificent rock climbing routes, areas such as Mt. Washington and the White Mountains are true winter wonderlands, ideal for anyone looking to experience the Granite State’s majestic wilderness. However, when dealing with the backcountry, the risk of an avalanche is always there, and your time skiing New Hampshire’s slopes and enjoying the views could always be cut tragically short. Aim to be two steps ahead by taking the AIARE Level 1 Avalanche Safety course. This course, appropriate for anyone looking to travel in avalanche terrain, will teach you the fundamentals of avalanche hazard management, such as proper backcountry trip preparations, basic decision making, and optimal rescue techniques. Take the AIARE Level 1 in New Hampshire and make sure your trip goes by without a hitch!

  • Easy access as the slopes are close to your accommodations

  • Learn about avalanche safety in New Hampshire’s stunning backcountry

  • During down-time, ski your heart out on the Granite State’s high-quality snow

Itinerary

Learn the basics of avalanche safety on this three-day introduction to avalanche hazard management in New Hampshire’s spectacular backcountry. Your experienced and certified instructor will teach you how to properly prepare for and carry out a backcountry trip. Master avalanche safety essentials, such as proper preparation, basic decision-making in the field and rescue techniques required to find and extricate a buried person.

  • Meet your instructors in a classroom. After introductions and an “ice breaker”, you will go through the course’s agenda and goals, as well as the logistics. Discuss decision-making based on a case study, as well as avalanche types and character. After a short break, learn about avalanche terrain for around an hour. After a lunch break, learn about companion rescue, followed by a field session with trailhead function checks and companion rescue instruction. Finish the day with some logistics for day 2 and homework assignments.

  • Review Day 1’s homework and explore the formation of layers in the mountain snowpack, as well as field observation techniques and recording. Following a short break, learn about planning and prep with a trip plan demo, a communication checklist, and some instructions about traveling wisely. In the field session, learn about range checks and observational outings. Finalize the day’s course with the logistics for day 3, a map preview and some more homework assignments.

  • Meet your instructor at Pinkham Notch Visitor Center for a morning trip planning session. Spend the rest of the day on an educational tour, allowing you to demonstrate what you’ve learned so far. Finish with a review, debrief, and closure of the course.

    After completing the course, you should be able to plan and prepare for travel in avalanche terrain, recognize avalanche risks, describe a basic decision-making framework in avalanche terrain, and learn and apply effective companion rescue.

Meet your guide

Northeast Mountaineering
5.00
Northeast Mountaineering
AMGA Certified Guides
Northeast Mountaineering is a small group of highly trained and experienced guides with years of experience on rock, ice, and snow, from New England to Alaska to Yosemite, and Ecuador to Nepal. Despite their own personal ascents, they thrive on teaching their skills to others. Their programs are built on education, mentoring, and investing time and energy in the development of each skier and climber. At NEM you will get a relaxed and fun environment where you can reach your full potential.
5.00 (2 reviews)
Norris J. about Northeast Mountaineering on Tripadvisor

As a previous guide myself, I can tell you that these folks at NE Mountaineering have their instruction and teaching dialed. Day one we arrived at a fabulous classroom and the table was set(literally) for success. Every day we got a chance to not only learn in the classroom but take that outside the classroom to practice in real-time. Day 3 really put the icing on the cake for me when we were taken to a secret spot in the whites where we as guides lead a trip up and put all the information we learned that last couple of days together. Corey and Dave are superstars and wells of knowledge. I really enjoyed the small group learning and very interactive approach. They came prepared jazzed up and ready to send it every day. I will 110%be coming back for another Avalanche Rescue and Aiare 2 course.

0O0DEM0O0 about Northeast Mountaineering on Tripadvisor

Engaged and helpful guide, safe, interesting, and well-organized trip, pleasant atmosphere. Learned a lot and enjoyed myself heaps.

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 New Hampshire, please refer to New Hampshire’s COVID-19 guidelines for out-of-state visitors.

    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
      • An introductory classroom session
      • Three days (a total of 24 hours) in the field
      • The opportunity to ski or ride out with your instructor at the end of the day

    What’s not included:

      • Technical backcountry ski touring equipment (can be rented from your guide)
      • Accommodation (available at your guide’s Bunkhouse for a discounted price of $20 per night)
      • 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.

    Prerequisites:
    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.

  • 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:

    • You can rent the beacon, shovel, and probe from your guide for a fee of $50
    • Alpine touring or telemark skis, touring boots, and poles can be rented from your guide
    • Splitboards can be rented from your guide

    If you choose to rent from your guide, you will receive an exclusive discount of 50% on your beacon, probe, and shovel and an additional 20% discount on all rental equipment and clothing.
    Ski rental locations are in Glen, NH, 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 pricing:

      • This course is not private. The usual guest-to-guide ratio is 6:1.
      • Cost is per person and it doesn’t decrease as the group grows.

    AIARE courses in New Hampshire 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 this course 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 Glen, NH, the starting point for the course, most people fly into Portland International Jetport. From there, you can rent a car and take a 2-hour drive to Glen, or take a bus to Naples American Legion and take a taxi, which will take you around 2h15min total.

    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’s Bunkhouse in Glen, NH, or a predetermined location. The guide will choose the appropriate terrain dependent on conditions and the ability of the group.

Have more questions? Read our FAQ,

Learning outcomes

During this course, you will learn about:

    • types and characteristics of avalanches
    • avalanche motion and size classification
    • basics of metamorphism and the layering of the mountain snowpack
    • new field observation techniques and snowpack tests
    • avalanche “red flags”
    • how to make an observation checklist and an avalanche danger scale
    • companion rescue and equipment.

When it comes to trip planning and preparation, your instructor will teach you about avalanche terrain recognition, assessment, and selection, route finding, travel techniques, decision making, and human factors.

From $495
/ 3 days
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