Top three reasons to upgrade your skills near Seattle
The Evergreen State’s backcountry season can last well into spring
Home to several resorts and miles on end of superb ski terrain
The slopes of Washington’s famous Mount Rainier offer something for anyone
As many resorts had to shut down due to Covid, more and more wintersport enthusiasts started heading to the backcountry for their dose of fun—and it’s easy to understand why. The deep, untouched fluff, adrenaline-inducing slopes, and crowd-free terrain are the perfect combo for any ski aficionado. Still, heading out-of-bounds is equally fun as it is risky, and the best way to avoid disaster is by learning necessary backcountry skills. Join a friendly guide in Stevens Pass just half an hour from downtown Seattle, and learn how to respond if you or someone from your group are caught in an avalanche. Improve your response skills with feedback from your instructors, explore the deepest snow in the Pacific Northwest, and head out to the backcountry with confidence!
February through March
Seattle is under an hour from all locations
Beginner to advanced
Book this adventure
Avalanche Companion Rescue Course
Avalanche Rescue Course is for everyone, whether you are just learning how to use your transceiver, or if you are an aspiring professional with many years of experience. This one-day course is a place to both learn new skills and keep your existing skills sharp and up-to-date. Head out to Stevens Pass and learn skills and techniques that will make you more comfortable exploring the backcountry. With its fresh fluff on top of big trees and varied terrain, Stevens Pass offers high quality runs for everyone!
This one-day Companion Rescue Course is specifically designed to help educate backcountry users on how to respond if you or someone from your group are caught in an avalanche. AIARE recommends that all backcountry travelers keep their skills up to date by taking the course at least every other year.
Some of the skills the course will cover:
- Basic overview of avalanches
- Avalanche rescue principles
- Avalanche safety equipment
- Techniques for executing a backcountry avalanche rescue
- Companion rescue process
You’ll learn how to:
- Describe what to do if you or a member of you party is caught in an avalanche
- Identify and be able to use gear necessary for avalanche rescue
- Improve your response skills with feedback from your instructors and peers
- Set up a realistic scenario in order to practice an avalanche rescue response
- Develop a plan for continued practice
Meet your guide
Indigo Alpine Guides
Things to know
Covid measures in Seattle, Washington
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 Seattle, Washington, please refer to the Washington State Department of Health 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:
- An experienced, certified guide with extensive knowledge of the area
- A full day in the field
- A rescue card acknowledging completion date at course end
What’s not included:
- Technical backcountry ski touring equipment
- Food and snacks
How fit do I need to be?
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.
Students must be able to travel in the snow, and bring appropriate equipment for traveling on snow to class. Skiers must be able to hike for several hours at a time while carrying a small pack. All participants should be comfortable traveling in snow while carrying touring gear. There are no other prerequisites.
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:
Ski rental locations are in Seattle 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 age requirements
Group sizes and pricing:
- These courses are not private. For the group courses, the usual guest to guide ratio is 6:1.
- Cost is per person and it doesn’t decrease as the group grows.
Courses in Seattle 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.
Getting there and meeting location
To get to Seattle, most people fly into Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. From there, you can rent a car or take a shuttle service to the course location.
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 a predetermined location. The guide will choose the appropriate terrain dependent on conditions and the ability of the group.