Colorado Wilderness Rides and Guides is holding a multitude of avalanche classes in 2022 and 2023. For years, cwrag has been exploring and educating in the backcountry. Safely traveling in winter conditions is vital for an outdoor enthusiast. Specifically if you ski, snowboard, snowshoe, or climb, this class may be just for you. 

Colorado Wilderness Rides and Guides offers accredited American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education (AIARE) courses (AIARE Level 1, AIARE Level 2, and Avalanche Rescue). AIARE provides an introduction and opportunity for developing essential decision-making skills for avalanche hazard management.

Our AIARE Courses are designed to fit around a typical workday schedule in order to maximize learning time around everyday life. For AIARE level 1 and 2, there is a 4 hour zoom the Tuesday prior to your field sessions. Your field sessions are held in Rocky Mountain National Park from 7 am – 4 pm on the weekend. Rocky Mountain National Park provides an outstanding outdoor learning environment. Not only does it keep you out of I-70 traffic on the weekends, the incredible educators and guides that teach your class are able to show you some backcountry gems that they frequent in the winter months. 

We have partnered with Backcountry Access (BCA) to provide our students with the latest and best in avalanche beacons, probes, and shovels, which are available for rent to our students for the duration of the course at no additional charge. Additionally, if you are looking for more tools to help you safely in the backcountry we have snow saws, backcountry ski straps, mountaineering folding magnifiers, digital thermometers, and ski binding tools available for purchase. 



AIARE Level I is meant to teach the fundamentals of avalanche safety including reading terrain, choosing safe ascent and descent routes, mitigating hidden dangers, and learning to locate and rescue a buried companion.

Course dates: 

  1. December 3-4, 2022 – SOLD OUT
  2. December 10-11, 2022 – SOLD OUT 
  3. December 17-18, 2022 – SOLD OUT 
  4. January 14-15, 2023 
  5. January 21-22, 2023 
  6. January 28-29, 2023 
  7. February 4-5, 2023 
  8. February 25-26, 2023
  9. March 11-12, 2023 


The AIARE 2 is a three-day/24-hour course that provides backcountry travelers an opportunity to advance their decision-making skills in more complicated situations such as being a leader within a small travel group, traveling in more complicated terrain, and/or developing a travel plan where resources are scarce.

The AIARE 2 builds on the introductory avalanche hazard management model introduced in the AIARE 1 and adds to it the evaluation of critical hazard assessment factors. Students will describe and discuss the weather, snowpack, and avalanche processes, and identify how these processes relate to observations and travel within avalanche terrain.

Course Dates:

  1. January 6-8, 2023 
  2. March 3-5, 2023 


AIARE Avalanche Rescue is a one-day stand-alone course that is intended to be retaken on a regular basis in order to keep abreast of best practices in rescue techniques and gear. New participants will learn the basics of companion rescue while returning participants will expand their skill set with advanced topics and realistic scenario practice to help improve their skills.

This course will be one day (8 hours) from 7 am – 3 pm.

  1. December 17 (Saturday), 2022 – SOLD OUT
  2. January 7 (Saturday), 2023 – POSTPONED 
  3. February 11 (Saturday), 2023

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