Level 1 Avy Course – AIARE Avalanche Education


Now booking 2023/2024 season! This accredited American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education (AIARE) AIARE Avalanche Level 1 course provides an introduction to 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! 

Please Book class 1 person at a time. For multiple people, add 1 new class to the cart for each person before checking out.

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Mode of Travel: On Snow Days(Required)
Avalanche Equipment: Beacon, Shovel & Probe(Required)
Please Book class 1 person at a time. For multiple people, add 1 new class to cart for each person before checking out.
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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(16 hours) in the backcountry of Rocky Mountain National Park traveling in avalanche terrain with highly trained AIARE guides practicing safe travel techniques and good group decision-making practices. Field locations will be dictated by conditions and the confirmed week of the course.
  • 1 evening (4 hours) of classroom review (Zoom) and discussion led by our experienced AIARE avalanche educators. 
  • 4-7 hours of pre-class online 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.
  • Snowpit 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, Cindy Gagnon, Jill Yarger, Justin Studt, Chris Dennie, or Other Educator Guides.
  • Prerequisite(s): none.


Additional information

Course Dates

Nov 18-19, 2023, Dec 2-3, 2023, Dec 9-10, 2023, Dec 16-17, 2023, Jan 6-7, 2024, Jan 13-14, 2024, Jan 20-21, 2024, Jan 27-28, 2024, Feb 10-11, 2024, Feb 24-25, 2024, Mar 9-10, 2024

Course Dates

2023/ 2024 Level 1 Course 

  1. December 2-3, 2023
  2. December 9-10, 2023
  3. December 16-17, 2023
  4. January 6-7, 2024
  5. Pending: January 13-14, 2024
  6. January 20-21, 2024
  7. January 27-28, 2024
  8. February 10-11, 2024
  9. February 24-25, 2024
  10. March 9-10, 2024

Course Details

Rate: $650 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.

Requirements:  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 recommended for this 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 on 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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