AIARE 1 Avalanche Course


This 24-hour course is an introduction to managing avalanche hazard. There will be 8 hours of self-paced pre-course on-line curriculum that students must complete prior to their course along with 2 full days of outdoor field instruction. 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.  The AIARE 1 is for aspiring backcountry skiers and splitboarders who want to recreate in or near avalanche terrain. 


AIARE On-line Curriculum, AIARE Field Book, AIARE Student Manual, use of Ortovox Avalanche Safety Equipment (transceiver, probe, shovel, and pack), are all included in the course price.  Backcountry ski and splitboard package rentals are available from Tahoe Mountain Sports shop where we are based.


What You’ll Learn


During an AIARE 1 course, you’ll spend time learning these skills: 

  • 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


Student Prerequisites:


Students must be in at least moderate physical condition and be able to travel in mountainous terrain on skis or splitboard, we travel up to 1200-2500' per day on a typical course.  Snowshoes are not allowed on this course.  Students must be able to ski or ride on advanced terrain at a ski resort and be able to link turns in a variety of snow conditions.  An Intro to Backcountry Skiing/Splitboarding Course is required before your avalanche course if you do not have at least 5 backcountry days of experience.  The Intro to Backcountry Course will provide you with some of the basic skills and techniques needed for backcountry travel and familiarize you with backcountry specific gear.  We offer Intro to Backcountry Courses on most Fridays and Saturdays throughout the winter season.  Skiers or riders 12-16 years old with the required experience can join us with a parent. 16 years and over are able to join without accompaniment.