AIARE Level 1 Avalanche Course 2017-09-03T14:49:11+00:00

Project Description

AIARE Level 1 Avalanche Course

“One of the top avalanche courses in America for adventure seekers”

Curbed Ski Magazine, January 2015

Award Winning Curriculum Design

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, and avalanche course students. As a result, this course provides what students say they want the most: more field time than classroom, more opportunities to perform snowpack tests, and more time spent making decisions on real backcountry ski tours. We have taken these real life requests to create the most hands-on, student centered, and practical AIARE Level 1 avalanche course available today.

Field Time on Every Day of the Course

We have field sessions on Red Mountain Pass in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado on every day of our AIARE Level 1 Avalanche Course. This gives you an opportunity to get hands-on practice, in the field, every single day. It also keeps the classroom sessions to a reasonable length so you will be able to absorb and retain the information that is presented. Additionally, the field venues are located just a short drive from the classroom. This minimizes travel time so your course hours are spent learning content and improving your skills.

Experienced, Highly Qualified Instructors

Our avalanche staff has been hand picked for their depth of experience as professionals in the snow and avalanche industry, and for their welcoming, approachable demeanor. They include AIARE Instructor Trainer Team members, AMGA certified ski guides, avalanche forecasters, ski patrollers, and AIARE qualified instructors. It is our goal to provide you with a thorough avalanche education that emphasizes safety, learning new skills, and having fun along the way.

Learn Backcountry Skiing and Snowboarding Skills

This course is an immersive, field based program that covers backcountry skiing and snowboarding skills for travel in and around avalanche terrain. You will learn techniques for up and down transitions, navigation, AVA and kick turning, tracksetting, time planning, powder skiing, and special tricks for touring efficiency.

Course Logistics

Most people choose to stay in a hotel or camp at a nearby campground during the course. Because it is the “off season” in Ouray, there are very good economical lodging options. We will send you a list of recommending lodging when you register. The class runs from 8-6 each day with most of the time spent in the field on Red Mountain Pass. Please see the course itinerary below for a detailed outline of each day.

“The AIARE Level 1 Avalanche Course with Peak Mountain Guides was by far and away the best backcountry professional development course I have ever taken.”

Cullen H.

Ski and Avy badge

Program Details


Ouray and Red Mountain Pass, Colorado


December 15-17, 2017
December 22-24, 2017
December 29-31, 2017
January 5-7, 2018
January 13-15, 2018
February 9-11, 2018
February 17-19, 2018
March 2-4, 2018
March 9-11, 2018
March 16-18, 2018
Custom dates available upon request


Beginner – Intermediate


$369.00 per person

Cost includes: 3 days of instruction with AMGA/AIARE qualified instructors/guides, student manual, AIARE field book, AIARE rescue card, certificate of completion, avalanche safety gear including BCA beacon, shovel, and probe; and our 100% Satisfaction Guarantee.

Cost does not include: Transportation, food, lodging, personal insurance, travel insurance, gratuities to instructors, and personal equipment for the winter backcountry (see equipment list below). Alpine touring boots, skis, skins, and poles are available for rent from our shop.


No prerequisites.


6:1 with a maximum group size of 12.


Level 1 Avalanche Course Equipment List (PDF)
Level 1 Avalanche Course Sample Itinerary (PDF)

Program Gallery

AIARE 1 avalanche course image
AIARE Level 1 Avalanche Course Skiing

The Peak Mountain Guides Difference


Exceptional Experiences, Every Time

We are a 5-Star rated business on Google, Yelp, and TripAdvisor. We are dedicated to the highest standards of professionalism, client care, and customer service.

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100% Satisfaction Guarantee

We provide exceptional outdoor experiences, every time. If you are not satisfied at the end of your trip, we will provide you with a complimentary day free of charge.

100% Satisfaction Guaranteed

Exclusively AMGA Certified Instructors & Guides

We are one of the only guide services in the country with an entire staff of instructors and guides who are certified by the American Mountain Guides Association (AMGA). You are in good hands when you adventure with us.

Dan Zokaites

Dan is an AMGA certified Rock, Alpine, and Ski Guide.  


Josh Hirshberg

Josh is an AMGA Certified Single Pitch Instructor.


Angela Hawse

Angela is an AMGA Certified Rock, Alpine, and Ski Guide.


Marc Ripperger

Marc is an AMGA Certified Rock and Alpine Guide.