AIARE Level 1 Avalanche Course + Companion Rescue


This is an introductory course on avalanche fundamentals. Learn proper preparations, route selection, and observations in the field. Peak Mountain Guides avalanche staff are certified AIARE instructors and trained by the AMGA as ski guides with intimate knowledge of the San Juan’s.

We combine the AIARE Level 1 curriculum and the Companion Rescue course as one program. This 4-day course is the combination of two AIARE programs.

COST
$650 per person

  • level 1 avy course digging a pit and taking observations
  • group instruction during a AIARE level 1 avalanche course
  • amazing and engaging terrain in the san juan mountians ouray avy course

Outline


Our AIARE Level 1 avalanche course curriculum was ranked “One of the Top Avalanche Courses in America for Adventure Seekers” by Curbed Ski Magazine. We built this award winning program with input from AIARE Instructor Team Members, AMGA Ski Guides, avalanche forecasters and feedback from avalanche course students. Every day of our AIARE Level 1 Avalanche Course includes field sessions on Red Mountain Pass in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado. This gives you an opportunity to get hands-on practice in the field and spend time out actually skiing!

Itinerary

Day 1: Companion Rescue
We will meet at 8 am virtually over video chat for our morning classroom session. After covering classroom material, the rest of the day will be in-person and in the field so please make lodging arrangements near Ridgway/Ouray with Wifi. We begin with introductions and an overview of the course. The remaining time is spent introducing avalanche involvement statistics, avalanche gear, avalanche motion, what to do if caught in a slide, and an overview of the companion rescue process for single and multiple burials. These classroom presentations may include case studies, powerpoint slideshows, and videos to keep everyone engaged and learning. After a short break, we will drive to Crystal Lake for the field portion of the course. We will begin with beacon function checks and range checks. Following this, we will have an in-depth session on single, multiple, and deep burial companion rescue. This will include multiple burial techniques such as three circle and marking functions. Everyone will get to practice numerous times to gain proficiency. We will spend most of the day in the field so please dress warm and bring plenty of food and water. We will finish the day by 5:00 pm.

Day 2:
We will meet at 8 am virtually over video chat for our morning classroom session. After covering classroom material, the rest of the day will be in-person and in the field so please make lodging arrangements near Ridgway/Ouray with Wifi. We begin with introductions and an overview of the course. The remaining morning is spent introducing avalanche types and characteristics, avalanche terrain, metamorphism and layering in the mountain snowpack, and companion rescue. These classroom presentations may include case studies, powerpoint slideshows, and videos to keep everyone engaged and learning. 

Day 3:
We will meet at 8 am virtually over video chat for our morning classroom session. After covering classroom material, the rest of the day will be in-person and in the field so please make lodging arrangements near Ridgway/Ouray with Wifi. The day’s topics include teamwork, human factors and decision making; field observations including snowpack tests; trip planning and preparation; and a look into your instructor’s backpack to see what he/she carries during a day of backcountry touring. After a one-hour break for lunch we will drive to Red Mountain Pass for a ski tour to make snowpack observations, practice terrain selection, and learn snowpack tests. We will finish the day by 6:00 pm.

Day 4:
We will meet at 8 am virtually over video chat for our morning classroom session. After covering classroom material, the rest of the day will be in-person and in the field so please make lodging arrangements near Ridgway/Ouray with Wifi. Using our observations from the previous day and information from the avalanche bulletin, we will be able to make informed terrain choices for a tour. During this final day the emphasis will be on application of skills and knowledge, and students will have the opportunity to make terrain choices, do the routefinding for the group, and employ travel techniques — all with valuable coaching and feedback from the instructor. The course will close with a presentation of graduation certificates and will conclude by 6:00 pm.

 

Program Dates


December 17-20, 2021
December 28-31, 2021
January 20-23, 2022
January 30- February 02, 2022 (Hut Based)
February 18-21, 2022
March 3-6, 2022

Details


Group Size

This is an open enrollment course. The maximum group size is 10 students and 2 instructors.

Time and Place

*For 2020 there is modification to the scheduled meeting time and place. Specific details will be communicated from the instructor.

Equipment List

All avalanche rescue equipment is included in your course. (Beacon, Shovel, Probe)
View Equipment List as a PDF

Rental Gear

Touring skis and boots are available for rent: Rental Gear

Hut Based Options


Want to experience this world-class curriculum fully immersed in the heart of the San Juan backcountry?  Join us for a 4-Day/3-Night winter backcountry program designed to sharpen students’ decision-making processes and know-how while surrounded by the beautiful summits and complex terrain this corner of Colorado is known for. 

DATES
January 27-30th, 2022

RATIO
4:1 (Max 8)

COST
$890 per person

OPUS hut red mountain pass san juan mountains colorado

Contact Us

The Peak Guide House
311 Main Street | Ouray CO 81427

Peak Mountain Guides, LLC
160 Liddell St. #C3 | Ridgway CO 81432
PO Box 2051 | Ridgway CO 81432

Authorized Permittee

Peak Mountain Guides is an authorized permittee of the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre, Gunnison National Forest; San Juan National Forest; Bureau of Land Management Monticello, Moab, Gunnison, and Glennallen Field Offices; Eldorado Canyon State Park; Ouray Ice Park, City of Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks; and National Parks including Mt. Rainier, Black Canyon of the Gunnison, and Colorado National Monument. Peak Mountain Guides is an equal opportunity service provider.