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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!

  • 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


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!

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Meet your guide

Indigo Alpine Guides
Indigo Alpine Guides
Indigo Alpine Guides was founded by Jack Bynum who has 10 years of experience guiding backcountry trips around the world. He has also travelled over 20,000 miles by bike, sea kayak, raft, on foot and skis and has become the youngest person to solo Denali. He's also put up first ascents on 6,000 meter peaks in the Himalayas. Most expeditions and trips are guided by Jack and the company focuses on custom trips with superb logistics in the seldom-travelled parts of the world. They believe in doing risky things with humility and that wild space is sacred.

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 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
      • Accommodation
      • Transportation
      • 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.

    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.

  • 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:

    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 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.

  • 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.

  • Day Trips Cancellations
    Fully refundable within the initial 48 hours from booking, unless the trip date is less than 7 days from the time of the booking.
    Cancellations up to 7 days prior to the trip date are refundable 100%.
    Cancellations within 7 days prior to the trip date are non-refundable.

Have more questions? Read our FAQ,

Learning outcomes

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
From $200 ()
/ 1 day
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