Avalanche Course: AIARE 1

Borealis Mountain Guides offers a Level 1 Avalanche Course using the curriculum and materials of The American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education. Start the season with an engaging course that will set you up to make better decisions and have more fun in the backcountry. Read on for more specifics on the course format and contents.


Upcoming course dates:

December 4-6, 2015 Chamonix, France

December 11-13, 2015 Chamonix, France

January 2-4, 2016 Chamonix, France


decision making in avalanche terrain

This 3 day/24 hour avalanche course is an introduction to avalanche hazard management. By taking an AIARE course, you will come away with a certificate that is valued by professional institutions throughout North America. 

Student Learning outcomes

At the end of the AIARE 1 course the student should be able to:

  • Plan and prepare for travel in avalanche terrain.
  • Recognize avalanche terrain.
  • Describe a basic framework for making decisions in avalanche terrain.
  • Learn and apply effective companion rescue.

Instructional Sessions

(24 hours including both class and field instruction) :

1. Introduction to the Avalanche Phenomena

  • Types and characteristics of avalanches
  • Avalanche motion
  • Size classification
  • The mountain snowpack: an introduction to metamorphism and layering

2. Observations and Information Gathering

  • Field observation techniques
  • Snowpack tests: rutschblock, compression test
  • Avalanche danger factors or “Red Flags”
  • Observation checklist
  • Avalanche danger scale

3. Trip Planning and Preparation

  • Avalanche terrain recognition, assessment, and selection
  • Route finding and travel techniques
  • Decision making and Human Factors

4. Companion Rescue and Equipment

student prerequisites

Student must be able to travel in avalanche terrain. Modes of travel include AT/Telemark skis, splitboard, or snowshoes. This is not an introduction to ski touring course. Please come having had some experience using your backcountry equipment.

Interested in an introduction to ski touring? Take a look! 

cost: $550 (USD) 

Minimum 4:1 ratio, Maximum 7:1 ratio

Cost includes:

  • 3 days of instructor and guide fees
  • Classroom
  • Course manual
  • AIARE Field book
  • Certificate

Cost does not include:

  • Transportation to and from the field lessons

SIGN up for a course!