This 24-hour AIARE 1 hybrid avalanche course is an introduction to managing avalanche hazard. You will learn how to use a repeatable process to manage your risk and learn from your experiences in the backcountry. You will also practice preparing for and carrying out a backcountry trip, keeping track of, communicating, and making decisions about hazards while in the backcountry, and learn rescue techniques if an avalanche occurs and someone is caught. Students should be able to travel off-trail on un-groomed or unmaintained terrain and bring appropriate equipment for traveling on snow, but there are no other prerequisites for this course. Field days take place in beautiful Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado.  

 

2023-2024  Season Course Dates:

December:  16/17, 30/31

January:  13/14, 27/28

February:  17/18, 24/25

March:  9/10, 23/24

 


 

Virtual Session – 6-8PM on a Weekday Evening

Field Days – 7-3PM in Rocky Mountain National Park

$599.00

Pay a 50% deposit per item

Have questions? Ask one of our guides!

 

(720) 282-9235 | Info@saiguides.com

 

See below for more details

Details

 

Course Description

This 24-hour course is an introduction to managing avalanche hazard. You will learn how to use a repeatable process to manage your risk and learn from your experiences in the backcountry. You will also practice preparing for and carrying out a backcountry trip, keeping track of, communicating, and making decisions about hazards while in the backcountry, and learn rescue techniques if an avalanche occurs and someone is caught.

 

Who Should Take this Course

The AIARE 1 is for anyone, regardless of their method of backcountry travel, who wants to recreate in or near avalanche terrain. You should be able to travel off-trail on ungroomed or unmaintained terrain and bring appropriate equipment for traveling on snow, but there are no other prerequisites for this course

The AIARE 1 is a prerequisite for the AIARE 2, as well as the Pro 1 course for aspiring avalanche professionals. 

 

What You’ll Learn

During an AIARE 1 course, you’ll spend time learning these skills, both in a classroom setting and in the field: 

  • A repeatable process for managing risk in the winter backcountry
  • Identifying avalanche hazard
  • Developing a plan for travel in avalanche terrain
  • Identifying avalanche terrain
  • Build habits to maintain awareness, communicate with your group, and make decisions 
  • Learn and practice avalanche rescue skills

Itinerary

Online Curriculum

Our program includes AIARE online education training. This online training allows students to move at their own pace, learning about the avalanche phenomenon prior to the field sessions of the course. The online education generally takes 4-6 hours and can be completed at any time prior to the course.

Virtual Classroom Session

You will have a Zoom meeting with your course instructor and other students from 6-8PM prior to your field sessions.  During this virtual classroom session, your instructor will cover additional education topics, answer questions from the online curriculum, and prepare the class for the field portion of the course.

FIELD SESSIONS

Field sessions will run from 7am-3pm in the backcountry. Be prepared to spend full days in the field. Bring lunch, high energy snacks, and plenty of hydration.. During the weeknight Zoom session, your instructor will clearly outline the meeting time and location.

Field Day 1– 7am-3pm

The instructor team will lead a discussion analyzing the avalanche forecast and how to apply it to the tour plan for the day. In the field, participants will become familiar with observing avalanche factors, techniques of avalanche rescue, snowpack profile practice (digging pits), and traveling safely in the backcountry.

Lodging is not provided as part of this course. You are welcome to lodge wherever your prefer near the course venue the night of Day 1, or return home that night if you live locally.

Field Day 2– 7am-3pm

We will review the avalanche forecast and create detailed tour plans for backcountry travel. During the day participants will travel in small groups, executing their tour plans and refining lessons learned from the previous days.

Gear List

Snow/ski gear: 

  • Alpine Touring (AT) skis, Tele-skis, Splitboard. Make all binding adjustments for fit prior to day 1. Climbing Skins for skis and splitboards. Ensure that the skins are fitted to your skis or splitboard prior to day 1. 
  • Snowshoes, if not skiing. Make sure bindings fit your boot prior to day 1.
  • Ski Poles (collapsible), required for all backcountry travelers on this course. 

Safety gear:

  • Avalanche Transceiver. Digital beacon transmitting on 457 kHz. 
  • Probe. Collapsible probe made of aluminum or carbon fiber. 
  • Shovel. Aluminum shovel (not plastic) designed for backcountry use. 
  • Avalung and/or Airbag (optional). 
  • Ski Helmet, for ski descents (optional, but recommended, be sure you can fit in, or carry on backpack). 
  • Notebook and Pencil for making field notes and observations. I also carry map, altimeter, compass and slope meter.
  •  Spare door and ignition key, for groups carpooling. It’s a real bummer to lose a key on a tour. 

Footwear:

  • Ski Boots, Snowboard Boots or Tele Boots.
  • Gaiters (optional but nice to have when we step out of skis or snowshoes). 
  • Wool or synthetic socks. No cotton. 
  • Liner sock. This is a personal preference, not required. 
  • Winter Hiking Boot. Something you can wear in the classroom or in the parking lot for rescue drills. 

Clothing (all to be wool or synthetic, no cotton):

  • Base Layer, long underwear, top and bottoms.
  • Insulation Layer, Softshell Pants and Jacket.  Fleece is ok if you have hardshell outerlayer.
  • Hardshell Pants (full side zip) and Jacket with hood. This is a wind and waterproof layer (Gore-tex) or similar. 
  • Insulated “puffy” Jacket w/ hood. Down or Synthetic. This layer is meant to be worn on outside of all other layers combined.  


Headwear: 

  • Synthetic or wool hat (beanie). 
  • Buff or neck gaiter.  
  • Sunglasses with dark lens and wraparound sun and wind protection.
  • Goggles. 

Handwear: 

  • Softshell glove, water and wind resistant. 
  • Warm glove – leather/gore tex is best
  • Mittens, good to have in your pack for colder temps.  
  • Two pairs or warm gloves/mittens minimum.  

Other gear: 

  • ~35L Backpack, make sure your gear fits in pack prior to course day. 
  • First-aid kit (small), blister bandages, band-aid and personal medications. 
  • 1L waterbottle (2L max), leakproof bottle like Nalgene works best. I bring a 24oz Thermos with warm drinks for the cold days.
  • Sunscreen and lipscreen, 30SPF minimum.  
  • Ski strap(s), small knife/multitool, headlamp w/new batteries, lighter, a few zip ties, & a short sections of bailing wire for field repairs. 
  • Camera, camera phone. 
  • Snacks/Lunch – About 1000 calories for the day. Sandwich, candy bars, and trail mix, etc; Bring what tastes good to you.  
RISK MANAGEMENT

Risk management is SAI’s number one priority. Our guides manage significant hazards inherent in the mountains such as avalanches, ice fall, rock fall, inclement weather, and high winds, but they cannot eliminate them. SAI guides draw from their wealth of experience and training to make sound decisions that maximize your experience without compromising the necessary margin of safety. Please clearly understand that mountaineering and all other mountain adventures are inherently hazardous sports. You are choosing to engage in an activity in which participants have been injured and killed. While those accidents are indeed infrequent, they may occur at any time and be out of our control. We ask that participants acknowledge the risk and hazards of these sports, and make their own choices about whether or not to engage in these activities.

FAQ

Q:What am I responsible to bring?

A: Each one of course pages has information on what to bring under the tab “Price Includes”. We will also send you additional info on how to prepare for your guided day once via email once we have received your payment. 

 

Q:How fit should I be for my course?

A: Our courses vary from absolute beginner to more advanced techniques on the sharp end.  While a base level of fitness (moderate hiking) is generally necessary to get to the climb, all courses can be tweaked to match your level of fitness.

 

Q: What if the weather is bad and we need to cancel/reschedule?

A: Read our cancellation policy on our policies page.

 

Q: Do I need to have prior climbing experience?

A: Each course/objective has different experience requirements. This information can be found under the Prerequisites tab at the bottom of our course pages.  For example, you do not need any prior experience to enroll in our Intro to Mountaineering Course but would need some prior climbing experience to participate in our Learn to Lead Trad Course. 

 

Q: Is there an age minimum? Can I bring my kids?

A: No, there is not an age minimum and yes you can bring your kids! However, there are some courses where children would not be suitable. You can find more information under the “course details” tab on our course pages. Also, check out our custom guiding options where we can create custom itinerary for you and your family. 

 

Q: Will I need transportation to get to the climb?

A: Yes, we do not provide transportation. We encourage carpooling with other course participants whenever possible though to save the environment and parking space! Meeting times and locations will be sent out via email once you have booked a course with us. 

 

Q: Do you offer lodging options?

A: No. We offer recommended lodging options and sometimes discounted rates depending on the course or trip. Feel free to call us if you have any questions about lodging!



POLICIES

Please review our cancellation policy here.

 

Advanced registration is required to book this course. We have a limited amount of guides and book up regularly. Simply book online if you’re ready to secure a date or, give us a call during business hours if you have any questions.