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.
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.
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:
- 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
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.