Level 1 Avy Course – AIARE Avalanche Education

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This accredited American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education (AIARE) AIARE Level 1 course provides an introduction into essential decision-making skills for avalanche hazard management. For any outdoor enthusiast, traveling safely in a winter environment is paramount.
All courses fill up, so register early!

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AIARE Level 1 Course – Colorado Wilderness Rides & Guides: 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 AIARE-certified instructors, each student will experience:

  • 2 full days (15 hours) in the backcountry of Roosevelt National Forest and Rocky Mountain National Park traveling in avalanche terrain with highly trained AIARE guides practicing safe travel techniques and good group decision-making practices.
  • 2 evenings (8 hours) of classroom review and discussion led by our experienced AIARE avalanche educators. Covid-19 update – see below.
  • 3 hours of pre-class on-line education
  • Observations of avalanche activity, weather, snowpack and slope configurations, and how they directly correlate to avalanche potential.
  • Training and practice with beacons and rescue techniques.
  • Snow pit location, excavation, and analysis.
  • An understanding of the right questions to ask when planning to travel in the backcountry, and the practice of useful lessons and exercises that are applicable in the field.
  • This course is a great building block for those who have taken a basic avalanche awareness course (like those offered by outdoor retailers) or those with no previous avalanche education or training.
  • Instructors: Joshua Baruch
  • Prerequisite(s): none.

See Also:  AIARE Level 2 Course / AIARE Avalanche (Companion) Rescue Course / AIARE Level 1 re-fresher / Avalanche Awareness


Free $25 Credit: Refer a friend who also registers for the same course and receive one $25 credit.  Due to high demand, any changes after registration will incur a $50 change fee.  **There are no refunds or make-ups for missed days.**
Free Gear Rental: The first ten (10) people to register for each course will receive free use of a beacon, shovel, and probe during the course.

Course Dates

2020/2021 Level 1 Course

  1. Course Availability Updated January 10, 2021


    1.  February 10, 11 and 13, 14 , 2021 (Wed, Thu, Sat, Sun) – 14 spots available  NEWLY ADDED CLASS!!
    2. March 10, 11, and 13, 14, 2021  (Wed, Thu, Sat, Sun) -4 spots available

Classes are Wednesday & Thursday Field Training is Saturday & Sunday

Course Details

Rate: $515 per participant. Due to high demand, any changes after registration will incur a $50 change fee.  **There are no refunds or make-ups for missed days.**

Indoor classes are held in Boulder on Wednesday and Thursday, from 6:00 pm -10:00 pm. Field days, In Rocky Mountain National Park or Roosevelt National Forest, are held on Saturday and Sunday, from 7:00 am – 5:00 pm.

COVID 19-Update Note: We most likely with be having Wednesday and Thursday evening indoor classroom via zoom and are working on a few outlines to maximize participant experience and learning and will have more details in the coming month.


The course operates with a minimum of six participants and a maximum of 21. The AIARE Course Leader is Joshua. The addition of other AIARE Instructors will be based on the number of participants, with a maximum seven-to-one ratio of students to instructor.

A slope meter is required for this course. You may purchase a BCA slope meter from us for $20 at the time of registration or $25 during the course.

A gear list will be sent upon confirmation of  course registration, and we’re happy to help arrange for personal gear if you do not have it.

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) provide us with 10 sets of beacons, shovels, and probes for participants to use for the course with no additional fees. We also have some BCA airbags for participants to demo and find out more about this important backcountry tool.

Not included in our rates: Transportation, meals, personal gear, and avalanche gear (beacon, shovel, and probe).


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