Convention & Visitors Bureau
2440 Pearl Street, Boulder, CO 80302 | 303.442.2911
Overview of Differences between Recreational and Professional Courses
In order to quality for the professional level track, one needs to complete the three recreational courses or track first. All recreational courses are certificate of completion (no certification and no pass or fail at the end of a course), as have been in the past for AIARE Avalanche level 1 and 2. All professional courses are a certifications, meaning there is a test and a pass or fall result at the end of the course. In the past, only AIARE Avalanche level 3 has been a certification and included a test (pass or fail) at the end of the course. Professional Level 1 and 2 courses are only taught directly by AIARE in 2017 – 2018 season. Although we many host one, AIARE dictates the instructors, course lead, and sets curriculum for the course.
Benefits of New Recreational Avalanche Track and Courses
Overall the changes will benefit the recreational backcountry travelers in a few ways: 1. There will be a stand-alone eight hours companion rescue course that can be taken before or after an AIARE Level 1 course. This is double the companion rescue training time than in the past and will include more scenario training and practice; 2. AIARE level 1 will include more field on route planning, terrain management, and hazard evaluation time, as 4-6 hours of field time in the past were needed to cover companion rescue; 3. AIARE level 2 will include more time around route planning, terrain management, and hazard evaluation with a little less emphasis on SWAG (Snow, Water, Avalanche Guidelines) terminology and professional standards. Level 2 will be an improved course for the hut-to-hut skier who does not have access to the avalanche bulletin for 2-5 days at a time and have to better access avalanche problem changes and terrain management.
All of the AIARE avalanche courses target the following backcountry users: backcountry skiing, backcountry snowboarding, off piste skiing, snowshoeing, ski mountaineering, snowmobiling, cat skiing, and heli skiing.
AIARE Avalanche Level 1 Course Colorado
This is a decision making in avalanche terrain course. We will be teaching you what avalanche terrain is and how to make decisions in and around the winter mountain environment.
This class is going to give you the basic tools you need to understand the dangers of traveling in the backcountry in avalanche terrain.
Good choices, planning, observing, teamwork, and traveling wisely will give you the best probability of safety and this course will help you identify the right questions to ask.
Give yourself wide margins and buffers as you increase your understanding of avalanche mechanics and develop your avalanche and mountain travel skill set with Colorado Wilderness Rides and Guides.
AIARE Level 1 Avalanche Course
Upon completing this course, students should be able to plan and prepare for travel in avalanche terrain, recognize avalanche terrain, describe a framework for making decisions in avalanche terrain, and apply effective companion rescue techniques. During this Level 1 Avalanche course taught by AAIRE certified instructors each student will experience:
Observations of avalanche activity, weather, snowpack and slope configurations and how they directly correlate to avalanche potential.
2 full days (15 hours) in the backcountry of Roosevelt National Forest and Rocky Mountain National Park traveling in avalanche terrain with highly trained AAIRE guides practicing safe travel techniques and good group decision-making practices
2 evenings (8 hours) of classroom review and discussion led by our experienced AAIRE avalanche educators
Training and practice with beacons and rescue techniques.
Snow pit location, excavation, and analysis.
Understand the right questions to ask when planning on traveling in the backcountry and provide useful lessons and exercises that are applicable in the field.
This course is a great building block for those that have taken an avalanche awareness course (such as an REI avalanche course) or those having no previous avalanche education or training.
The course operates with a minimum of six participants and a maximum of 24. The AIARE Course Leader(s) will be Joshua. AIARE Instructors will be based on the number of participants, with a maximum seven to one ratio of students to instructor.
Dates and Times: Indoor classes are held Thursday, and Friday, from 6:00-10:00 p.m. in Boulder. Field days, which are either in Rocky Mountain National Park or Roosevelt National Forest, are Saturday, and Sunday, from 7:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
AIARE Level 1 2017 and 2018 Dates: 1. November 30 – December 3, 2017; 2. December 7 – 10, 2017, 3. December 14 – 17, 2017, 4. January 11 – 14, 2018, 5. February 8 – 11, 2018, 6. March 8 – 11, 2018. All course fill up, so register early.
Instructors: Joshua Baruch – Course Lead (and Course Instructors)
Rate: $455 per participant.Please note: Refer a friend who registers and receive a $25 credit for each referral for the course.
Included in our rates: All instruction and AIARE course materials for AIARE Level 1 avalanche course. Course materials will be provided the first evening of the class. Note: Our partners at Backcountry Access (BCA) provides us will 10 sets of beacons, shovels, and probes for participants to use for the course with any fees. We also have some BCA airbags for participants to try and familiarize with this important backcountry tool.
Not included in our rates: Transportation, meals, personal gear, or avalanche gear (such as beacon, shovel, and probe). A gear list will be sent upon confirmation of the course, and we are happy to help arrange for personal gear if you do not have it.
AIAIRE Avalanche Level 2 Course
This course is an American Institute Of Avalanche Research And Education (AIARE) Level 2 Avalanche Course. AIARE level 2: Analyzing Snow Stability and Avalanche Hazard.
The AIARE 2 course is a 4-day program that provides backcountry leaders the opportunity to advance their avalanche knowledge and decision making skills.
The AIARE 2 is designed for more experienced recreational travelers and builds from the introductory avalanche hazard management model introduced in the level one and adds to it the evaluation of factors critical to snow stability evaluation. Our class format caterers to working professionals and students.
AIARE Level 2 Avalanche Course
Four full days or 40 hours of instruction (including both class and field time).
Goal: Advance understanding of avalanche terrain, particularly from the perspective of stability analysis.
Discuss how the snowpack develops and metamorphoses over time; and discuss the factors that contribute to spatial variability.
Learn standard observation guidelines and recording formats for factors that influence or indicate snow stability. SWAG MODULE.
Advance understanding of avalanche release and triggering mechanisms.
Introduce a snow stability analysis and forecasting framework
The course operates with a minimum of six participants and a maximum of 12. The AIARE Course Leader(s) will be Joshua Baruch or John MacKinnon. AIARE Instructors will be based on the number of participants, with a maximum six to one ratio of students to instructor.
Dates and Times: Indoor classes are held Thursday – Sunday. We will meet at the first day at (8 am) at our Boulder headquarters (6560 Odell Pl #D, Boulder, CO 80301). Field days, which are either in Rocky Mountain National Park or Roosevelt National Forest. Plan on days from 7:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m after the first day.
Dates and Times: 1. January 26th – 28th, 2018 and March 16th – 18th, 2018.
Note We will offer an AIARE Avalanche Rescue 1 day course prior to both of these level 2 course (this day is an extra charge), but AIARE avalanche rescue to a prerequisite to AIARE Level 2 and is a new course in 2017-2018.
Rate: $515 per participant. Please note: Refer a friend who registers and receive a $25 credit for each referral for the course.
Included in our rates: All instruction and AIARE course materials (Student Manual and weather proof AIARE field book), for AIARE Level 2 avalanche course. AIARE Certified Course Leader and Instructors. Use of BCA beacon, shovel, and probe if needed. AIARE certificate of completion. Course materials will be provided the first evening of the class.
Not included in our rates: Transportation, meals, or personal gear. A gear list will be sent upon confirmation of the course, and we are happy to help arrange for personal gear if you do not have it. If you would like to purchase personal avalanche gear, please inquire about placing an order through us.
Instructors: Joshua Baruch (Course Lead) and Instructors TBA