Project Description

Hut Based Level 1 Avalanche Course

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

– Curbed Ski Magazine

4-Day Hut Based Program

Our hut based AIARE Level 1 Avalanche Course immerses you in avalanche study for four days of intensive learning.  This course utilizes our award-winning AIARE 1 curriculum and provides an intimate backcountry learning experience at the beautiful Last Dollar Hut.

The Last Dollar Hut

The course takes place at the Last Dollar Hut on the San Juan Hut System in between Ridgway and Telluride, Colorado. The hut offers exceptional skiing right outside the front door. There are big alpine bowls, skinny chutes, and gladed tree runs. Because the hut capacity is limited to eight people, the terrain around the hut rarely gets skied out and fresh powder lingers for weeks after a storm.

Experienced, Highly Qualified Guides

Our guides have 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 course leaders. Our guides will provide you with a thorough avalanche education that emphasizes safety, learning new skills, and having fun along the way.

Learn More Backcountry Touring Skills

In our hut based course we are able to teach more backcountry touring skills due to the 4-day format and large amount of time that is spent in the field.  You will get in-depth instruction in skills such as map reading, tour planning, wilderness navigation, routefinding, AVA and kick turning, tracksetting, and other special tricks for backcountry touring efficiency.

Program Details


Ridgway Hut on the San Juan Hut System, CO


Inquire for 2019 Dates
Custom dates available upon request




$850 per person

Cost includes: 4 days of instruction, student manual, AIARE field book, lodging in a rustic ski hut, breakfast and dinner each day, and avalanche safety gear.

Cost does not include: Transportation to the trailhead, lunches and snack food, travel insurance, personal insurance, gratuities to instructors, personal ski equipment, personal clothing, and supplies for overnight hut-based ski touring (see equipment list below).


Intermediate downhill skiing or snowboarding ability.
Ability to make controlled turns in variable conditions.
Adequate fitness for full days of ski touring with a pack.


6:1 with a maximum group size of 6


Program Gallery

Hut based level 1 avalanche course in the San Juan Mountains
Hut based level 1 avalanche course evaluating the snowpack
hut based level 1 avalanche course making turns in the trees