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Avalanche Level 1 Hybrid

  • Price: $699.00$749.00
  • Duration: 2 Evening Zoom Sessions + 2 Field Days
(13 customer reviews)

This Avalanche Level 1 Hybrid Course is split up over two 3-hour evening video conferences, and two full days of avalanche training in the field.

Colorado Mountain School teaches the American Avalanche Institute (AAI) recreational curriculum (in place of the AIARE curriculum).  The AAI curriculum is approved by the American Avalanche Association (A3) and sets a new standard for avalanche training in the United States.

All field days are consecutive, course dates below indicate the first day in the field.

Participant 1

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Don’t see a date and location that works for you? We offer custom guiding 365 days a year. 

Looking for an avalanche training course in Utah, Wyoming or Montana? Sign up with our friends at American Avalanche Institute.

Overview:

Avalanche Level 1 Hybrid Course curriculum brought to you by:

American Avalanche Institute Logo

We teach a complete program of curriculum established and developed by the American Avalanche Institute (AAI).

Mountain Guide Mia demonstrating avalanche terrain I the backcountryYou can expect to develop a solid foundation of how to prepare for and carry out a backcountry trip, understanding basic decision making while in the field, and avalanche rescue techniques required to locate and dig up a buried person.  

This course provides essential training for anyone traveling in or near avalanche terrain. Participants need to travel on AT skis, splitboard, or snowshoes with snowboard. For aspiring professionals, this course fulfills a prerequisite for the AAI Pro 1 course down the line.

By completing this course with Colorado Mountain School, you will receive a certification from AAI and join a network of tens of thousands of Level 1 avalanche training graduates.

Colorado Mountain School Adopts American Avalanche Institute Curriculum in Place of AIARE Course Curriculum

For 50 years, the American Avalanche Institute has provided one the most successful professional and recreational avalanche training programs. At the recreational and professional levels, their courses and curricula are fully approved by the American Avalanche Association (A3). AAI’s guides, avalanche professionals, and educators create the best recreational and professional avalanche courses in the world. Read more information about the switch from AIARE to AAI curriculum.

Details:

This course can be taken on snowshoes, skis, splitboard, or snowboard. Participants on alpine touring rigs must have experience on their setup prior to taking this course. Snowshoes are available for rent upon request. Students on skis or boards must be comfortable in steep blue to black terrain at the areas.

Sample Itinerary:

We believe that avalanche training is best taught by combining theoretical concepts and experiential learning.  Some topics are best learned in a safe classroom setting and others in the mountains, moving through terrain and digging into the snow. Here at CMS you’ll have both.

The first portion of your hybrid course includes the AAI Avalanche Level 1 virtual workshop.  The virtual workshop consists of two, 3 hour long hosted sessions, during these sessions you will watch presentations of core material followed by small group learning exercises, Q & A, and review/feedback.  These sessions will be scheduled weekly and can be taken well in advance of your course for maximum convenience and engagement.  Students must attend both session 1 & 2 PRIOR to the first day of your field session.

Virtual Sessions 1 & 2:

Welcome, review itinerary

  • Review forecast / Map building
  •  Avalanche Forecast discussion
  • Plan/logistics for the field days

Field Day 1 – 8:00am – 4:30pm 

  • Course meets at predetermined location
  • Morning avalanche, weather and safety briefing
  • Introduction to trailhead rescue gear checks
  • Introduction to AAI Backcountry Checklist
  • Companion rescue practice – demonstrations, practice and observation/coaching
  • Transition to instructor led tour and snowpack observations – introduction to snow pack tests
  • Terrain tour (ATES) – how to identify avalanche terrain and safely navigate it
  • Debrief observations in the field and return to trailhead
  • Assign parameters for day 2 tour plan

Field Day 2 – 8:00am – 4:30pm 

  • Meet at trailhead
  • AM Meeting – Backcountry Checklist (avalanches, snowpack, weather)
  • Trailhead transceiver function check
  • Student/Instructor-led tour: Terrain Identification, recording observations in field books, snowpack tests / observations, weather observations, review companion rescue
  • Return to trailhead – Checklist debrief in small groups followed by large group discussion
  • Course wrap up & next steps

Optional Learning Resources — All Season Long

Meeting location:

1 Video call: Held the night prior to your field days. Links are sent out by the Course Instructors  

2 Field locations TBD

Lodging:

Cameron Pass: There are a variety of cabins, vacation rentals and camping options available on / near Cameron Pass. Learn more about Cameron Pass and options for lodging near State Forest State Park.

I-70 Courses, Frisco: There are a variety of accommodations off the I-70 corridor. The towns of Silverthorne, Dillon, and Leadville are all situated near the field venues we use and work well for lodging.

Notes:

All of our courses can be run as custom outings.  If your group is interested in a custom avalanche training course, please call us at 720-387-8944.

Why Take an AAI Course from CMS?

  • The AAI curriculum was developed, refined and honed by working Professionals in some of the most avalanche prone mountain ranges of North America.
  • Our Instructors are educators, not just minimally qualified instructors
  • We spend the majority of the course in the mountains, not inside
  • We provide valuable pre-course material to help you prepare
  • We provide bonus education opportunities to help you keep learning
  • Our Instructors are career guides, with decades of personal backcountry experience
  • Our Instructors are AMGA Ski Guide-trained or certified
  • We have a full-time office staff of GUIDES to answer all of your questions
  • Dozens of course dates to meet our guests scheduling needs
  • Get avalanche training in the ski venue you ski in locally
  • Fully sponsored by industry leaders Dynafit, SCARPA, Backcountry Access
  • Full avalanche rescue kit rentals at no charge – try before you buy

All Upcoming Dates and Locations:

  • February 24, 2024 - February 25, 2024 - Avalanche Level 1 Hybrid - Estes Park, Colorado
  • March 2, 2024 - March 3, 2024 - Avalanche Level 1 Hybrid - Frisco, Colorado
  • March 2, 2024 - March 3, 2024 - Avalanche Level 1 Hybrid - Estes Park, Colorado
  • March 9, 2024 - March 10, 2024 - Avalanche Level 1 Hybrid - Frisco, Colorado
  • March 21, 2024 - March 22, 2024 - Avalanche Level 1 Hybrid - Vail, Colorado
  • March 23, 2024 - March 24, 2024 - Avalanche Level 1 Hybrid - Estes Park, Colorado
  • April 13, 2024 - April 14, 2024 - Avalanche Level 1 Hybrid - Frisco, Colorado

At the end of the Hybrid Avalanche Level 1 course the student should be able to:

  • Interpret the avalanche forecast bulletin and choose appropriate avalanche terrain for the day
  • Use of the Backcountry Avalanche Checklist in the field to provide a system for prioritizing information, working as a team, and minimizing possible human factor traps
  • Demonstrate the ability to identify avalanche terrain.
  • Demonstrate effective companion rescue
  • Understand avalanche terminology
  • Recognize and identify avalanche terrain
  • Understand safe travel best practices in avalanche terrain
  • Be Able to identify major layers mountain snowpack
  • Understand how weather changes the snowpack
  • Human factors and how they can influence decision-making
  • How to make and communicate field observations of terrain, snowpack, and weather
  • Basic use and interpretation of stability tests

Prerequisites:

This course can be taken on AT skis, splitboard, or snowboard with snowshoes. Participants must have experience on their setup prior to taking this course and be comfortable in steep blue to black terrain at the areas.

Preparation:

The Avalanche Level 1 course is for anyone, regardless of method of travel, who wants to recreate in or near avalanche terrain. Participants may have attended some awareness classes or workshops or completed the Avalanche Rescue course, but none are a prerequisite for this course.

Aspiring professionals will need to take the Avalanche Level 1 course and Avalanche Rescue as a prerequisites for the Pro 1 course.

Time:

8:00am - 5:00pm

Duration:

2 Evening Zoom Sessions + 2 Field Days

Maximum Ratio:

6:1

Minimum Age:

Please call to register participants under age 18
Experience Level

Beginner

Activity Level

Moderate

Category

Avalanche Training

Duration

Multi-Day

Price Includes:

Price Excludes:

  • Food
  • Transportation
  • Lodging
  • Clothing, backpack and non-technical personal items
  • Skiing / Splitboarding Equipment (Recommend Neptune Mountaineering)
  • Park Entrance Fees (where applicable)
  • Rescue Insurance / Fees
  • Trip Insurance
  • Gratuity
  • Expenses due to unforeseen circumstances beyond the control of Colorado Mountain School

Item Description Quantity Example Purchase At Rent At Equipment Type
Avalanche Beacon

Modern, digital, three-antennae beacon with fresh batteries.

1

BCA Tracker 3 or 4

Neptune Mountaineering

Colorado Mountain School or Neptune Mountaineering

Equipment
Avalanche Probe

Collapsable metal or carbon rod used to probe avalanche debris while attempting to strike a buried target.

1

BCA Stealth 300

Neptune Mountaineering

Colorado Mountain School or Neptune Mountaineering

Equipment
Avalanche Rescue Shovel

Ski specific shovel used to dig pits and avalanche rescue. A metal blade is mandatory.

1

BCA B1 Ext

Neptune Mountaineering

Colorado Mountain School or Neptune Mountaineering

Equipment
Backpack: 20-40 liter

Packs smaller than this tend not to be able to carry the necessary amount of equipment and clothing.

1

CAMP M3 30L

Neptune Mountaineering

Colorado Mountain School

Equipment
Baselayer Bottoms

Synthetic or Merino Wool, Lightweight or mid-weight are recommended.

1

Men: Rab Syncrino Leggings
Women: Rab Syncrino Leggings

Rab

Clothing
Beanie or Fleece Hat

Should cover the ears and fit under a helmet. Hats with fluff balls on top do not fit under helmets.

1

Filament Beanie

Rab

Clothing
Climbing Skins

Nylon or mohair. Trimmed and adjusted to fit your skis or splitboard ahead of time.

1

Dynafit Speedskin

Neptune Mountaineering

Neptune Mountaineering

Equipment
Compass

Used for navigation and orientation. A compass with adjustable declination is preferrable.

1

Silva Ranger CLQ

Neptune Mountaineering

Optional
Face Mask – PPE

Optional; Look for a mask with a bendable border at the top so you can mold the mask to fit the bridge of your nose and prevent your glasses from fogging.

1 Clothing
First Aid Kit

Your guide will have an emergency First Aid Kit. You should bring a small kit including blister prevention and care products such as a role of athletic tape and Moleskin. Your kit should also contain a few Band-aids, some Tylenol and Ibuprofen.

1

Neptune Mountaineering

Optional
Food

Proper lunches that are prepared ahead of time are recommended (sandwich, burrito, leftover pizza, etc), along with an assortment of snack bars, gels, or trail mixes. Feeze-dried meals are acceptable on overnight trips, but not day trips.

1

Made in Nature, Thrive Tribe

Neptune Mountaineering

Equipment
Goggles

Protect your eyes and face from wind and sun burn.

1

Zeal Beacon Goggles

Zeal Optics

Neptune Mountaineering

Equipment
Hardshell Pants

These should be non-insulated pants with ankle cuffs wide enough to fit over your ski or ride boots.

1

Men: Rab Khroma Kinetic Pant
Women: Rab Women’s Khroma Kinetic Pants

Rab Stores

Clothing
Headlamp

Load with fresh batteries. Critical for hiking before sunrise and great to have in the pack in case you are caught out after dark.

1

Neptune Mountaineering

Equipment
Heavyweight Waterproof Glove

This glove comes out when the winter going gets cold and wet or at higher altitudes.

1

Men: Pivot GTX Glove
Women: Pivot GTX Glove

Rab Store

Clothing
Hot Drinks

Coffee, tea, hot cocoa are great for warming up when it’s cold outside.

1

Cusa Tea; Alpine Start Coffee

Neptune Mountaineering

Optional
Laptop

Useful for navigation courses, including hiking and ski tour planning.

1 Optional
Lightweight Baselayer Top

Synthetic or Merino Wool; Worn against the skin and is considered a “wicking” layer that facilitates the movement of moisture away from the skin and through the layers. Hooded base layers add extra versatility.

2

Men: Rab Syncrino Base LS Tee
Women: Rab Syncrino Base LS Tee

Rab

Clothing
Lightweight Gloves

Synthetic; Thin gloves used when hiking the early morning approach. Belay gloves can suffice if full-fingered.

1

Rab Vapour-Rise Glove

Rab Store

Clothing
Lip ScreenSPF 15 or higher.

Non-SPF rated lip balms can actually increase your chances of getting burned.

1

Rocky Mountain Sunscreen Lip Balm

Neptune Mountaineering

Optional
Mechanical Pencil

Great for taking notes in the field.

1 Optional
Midweight Baselayer Top

Synthetic or Merino Wool; Adds extra warmth and protection from the cold and wind without creating a moisture barrier as a jacket would. Having at least one base layer that is hooded adds versatility, protecting the neck and ears from cold winds.

1

Men: Rab Ascendor Light Hoodie
Women: Rab Ascendor Light Hoodie

Rab

Clothing
Midweight Softshell Glove

This is the workhorse glove and is most often worn on warmer days when mountaineering. Softshell gloves are water-resistant and durable. They often have leather palms and fingers.

1

Rab Khroma Tour Glove

Rab

Clothing
Neck Gaiter

“Buffs” are quite versatile in their uses. They can be used as light beanies, neck warmers, and can offer face protection from the cold wind or sun.

1

CMS Neck Gaiter

Neptune Mountaineering

Clothing
Personal Toilet Kit

At minimum, bring a small Ziploc with toilet paper. Consider bringing a travel sized package of hand-wipes. Idealy, purchase, or for free from the RMNP Backcountry office, bring a “Rest Stop.” The Rest Stop, known as “Blue Bags” in the Pacific Northwest, or the “Wag Bag” in other areas, are poop-in-a-bag systems that include toilet paper and a sanitizing hand wipe.

1

Neptune Mountaineering

Optional
Ski Helmet

This item is recommended but not required. We will be skiing in the trees, and in snow conditions where rocks, stumps, and downded logs are present.

1

Camp Speed Comp

Neptune Mountaineering

Equipment
Ski or Snowboard Boots

Footwear should be appropriate to mode of travel i.e. ski, snowboard, or insulated winter boots for snowshoes. For snowshoers, a boot such as the Scarpa Mont Blanc is the minimum level of boot required. Ski Boots should have a walk mode.

1

Scarpa Maestrale RS

Neptune Mountaineering

Neptune Mountaineering

Equipment
Ski or Trekking Poles

Two poles, with powder baskets, are required for all skiers, splitboarders, and snowshoers. It is ideal if poles are ski-specific and collapse small enough to fit onto a pack when climbing.

1

BCA Scepter

Neptune Mountaineering

Colorado Mountain School; Neptune Mountaineering

Equipment
Ski Straps

18″ Rubber or velcro straps to connect skis when attaching them to a pack. Also useful for a variety of in-the-field equipment repairs.

2

BCA Ski Strap

Neptune Mountaineering

Optional
Smart Phone App

There are a plethora of apps that assist in navigation. These apps use your phone’s GPS functions and can work in the mountains offline.

1

Avanet; Gaia Maps; Topo Maps

Optional
Smartphone

Great for taking photos and videos. Smartphone batteries tend to shut down in freezing temps – keep your phone in a warm inner layer. A tether is ideal in the mountains to protet against dropping your phone.

1 Optional
Softshell and Fleece Jacket

Water-resistant, windproof, yet it “breaths,” which means it allows moisture to move through. Hoods are ideal. There are multiple thicknesses of Softshell jackets. A lightweight or medium-weight jacket is preferred. Fleece jackets are acceptable.

1

Men: Rab VR Summit Jacket
Women: Rab VR Summit Jacket

Rab

Clothing
Sports Bra

Provides support and allows for full range of motion

1

North Face Beyond the Wall

Neptune Mountaineering

Clothing
Sun Hat

A billed hat to keep the bright mountain sun at bay.

1

Rab Trucker Logo Cap

Rab

Clothing
Sunglasses

“Wrap-Around” style sunglasses with 100% UV Protection.

1

ZEAL RAD CLIFF SUNGLASSES

Zeal Optics 

Neptune Mountaineering

Equipment
SunscreenSPF 30 or higher.

Travel size.

1

Rocky Mountain Sunscreen SPF 50

Neptune Mountaineering

Equipment
Synthetic or Down Puffy Jacket

Fits over all other layers and is worn at breaks and on really cold days. Synthetic puffies are more durable, are easily laundered, and dry out quickly if wet. Down puffies are lighter weight, pack smaller, and provide exceptional warmth, but once wet, they stay wet.

1

Men: Rab Mythic Alpine Light Jacket
Women: Rab Mythic Alpine Light Jacket

Rab

Clothing
Synthetic or Merino Wool Socks

Wool and synthetic blends are great for long days on the trail. “Ski” and “Snowboard” socks are especially useful when warmth is desired.

2

Point 6 AT Hike Light Crew

Neptune Mountaineering

Clothing
Thermos

Many ice climbers prefer to bring a thermos of hot water or soup instead of one of their water bottles.

1

Neptune Mountaineering

Optional
Toe Warmers and Hand Heaters

Help keep you warm on particularly cold days.

1

Neptune Mountaineering

Optional
Water Bottles

1 liter bottles are the standard. Bladders such as Camelbacks and Platypus are acceptable for above freezing temps, but only in conjunction with another bottle. Bladders are not acceptable during sub freezing temps. Sports drinks are also acceptable.

2

Nalgene, Hydro Flask

Neptune Mountaineering

Equipment
Waterproof Shell Jacket

Non-insulated, Gore-Tex, Dermizax, Event, or other waterproofing system is required. Mostly, this jacket sits in the bottom of your pack and comes out when the weather gets nasty with precipitation. This jacket should fit over all other layers.

1

Men: Rab Khroma Cirque GORE-TEX Jacket
Women: Rab Women’s Khroma Cirque GORE-TEX Jacket

Rab

Clothing

COVID-19

Q: Will COVID-19 impact my course?

A: 2020 made it clear that running programs while managing the risk of COVID-19 transmission is a challenge. It is a challenge that the Colorado Mountain School team tackled creatively and courageously. We may need to shift our classrooms to virtual settings at a moment’s notice. We may need to put on masks unexpectedly. We may need to go outside and distance ourselves. No matter what though, we are committed to running programs, providing education, and serving our mission, while also maintaining the highest standards of risk management. Please visit our FAQ page, COVID-19 Policy, or contact us for more information.

Course Registration

Q: Do I need prior backcountry experience to participate in Avalanche Level 1 course?

A: No! If you are planning on taking the course on snowshoes, you do not need any prior experience. If you are joining us on a ski or splitboard touring setup, we ask that you have prior experience touring so that you can focus on getting the most out of your avalanche training, and not about your gear / movement. Our Intro to Backcountry Skiing & Splitboarding course is a great option to get you up to speed quickly if you’re starting out.

Q: What level skier / rider should I be for the Avalanche Level 1 course?

A: If you are hoping to take your Avalanche Level 1 course on a ski or split board touring setup, you’ll need to be skiing or riding at an intermediate to advanced level. You’ll have an opportunity to discuss your experience with your instructor prior to your field sessions. If you or instructor decide that traveling on snowshoes will better your learning experience, they will be provided at no charge.

Q: Is there a best time to take my avalanche training course?

A: Anytime there is snow coverage in the mountains! Historically, the most popular time is early season (November-January) so you can get your training in and have a long season of backcountry adventures ahead of you. Some people prefer to wait until later in the season to get their ski legs and to have higher snow totals in the backcountry, which can open up more venues during the course. Both options are great and the curriculum and certification is the same. If you have the flexibility, weekdays and courses later in the season may be less expensive due to off-peak demand — they also often have the added benefit of off-peak crowds in the mountains.

Q: My first preference in course dates/locations isn’t available. What are the chances of getting a spot if I get on the waitlist?

A: When a spot opens up on a sold out course, we contact everyone on the waitlist and it is first come, first served. Early season waitlists are often dozens of people, so the chances of getting a spot that opens up can sometimes be slim. We recommend you register for your next best choice and get on the waitlist to keep an eye out for transfer opportunities. There are no fees to transfer into a course that you’re waitlisted for.

Equipment

Q: Do I need to bring/purchase my own avalanche equipment before the course? 

A: No. We can outfit you with a beacon, shovel, and probe from Backcountry Access to use on your course, free of charge. When you fill out your pre-course survey a few weeks before your course, please let us know if you will need this equipment.

Q: Do you rent backcountry skis, splitboards or snowshoes?

A: We have a limited number of snowshoes available upon request. Due to the large variety of sizes for backcountry equipment, we do not rent skis or splitboards. We recommend a pair of Dynafit skis or Weston Splitboards from Neptune Mountaineering in Boulder.

Q: Do you have recommendations on equipment that I should get for the course?

A: Yes! The AAI website has an equipment list tab that has a ton of gear recommendations from our guides. Keep in mind that this list is exhaustive to cover a variety of conditions. If you still have questions about equipment after reading our recommendations, please contact the guides in our office and we’d be happy to chat gear.

For purchasing, we recommend the wonderful folks at Neptune Mountaineering. Please consider the following brands for specific needs.

Technical Outerwear: Rab
Ski Boots: SCARPA
Skis: Dynafit
Snow Safety: BCA

Course Preparation & Online Learning

Q: Will there be any classroom work?

A: This course does include classroom sessions for the 2023/24 season. You can expect to spend some portion of each day in a classroom.

Q: How do I access online learning?

A: Upon registration, students will receive an email that gives them access to the online learning portal. This pre-course online module is optional, but students are strongly encouraged to have completed the online pre-course work prior to the course start date. Completion of the AAI online pre-course work will help prepare you for getting the most out of your Avalanche Level 1 course.

Q: I registered another person. How do they access online learning?

If you enrolled another person, we will need their contact information to provide membership access. Please contact our Service Team (service@coloradomountainschool.com) to get them registered with an online account and a membership.

Field Logistics

Q: Do you have any recommendations for where to stay during the course?

A: Yes! Please check out the lodging recommendations on our Avalanche Level 1 Page.

Q: Will I be able to group up with my Friends or Family during the course?

A: Yes! When filling out our pre-course survey (sent a few weeks before your course), please provide the names of the participants you are signing up / or want to tour with.

Q: Is transportation provided? 

A: No. Each participant is required to provide their own transportation each day. This includes driving to and from the trailhead or any meeting location for the course. 

Q: Will I be able to carpool with my pod to our field days?

A: Due to current COVID-19 conditions, we do not encourage you to carpool with members outside of your household. Instructors are not allowed to carpool with students during this time. 

Q: Will I need to pay a fee to enter any parks?

A: Yes, some venues, such as State and National Parks, require all users pay an entrance fee. These include, but are not limited to, RMNP ($25) and State Forest State Park (Cameron Pass, $9). Clients are responsible for their own entrance fees. You can also purchase a National Parks pass for $80 that will get you into any National Park for the whole year, but may not be eligible for State Parks (depends on the park).

Q: How long are the field sessions? 

A: Field sessions can be anywhere from 3-6 hours in length depending on weather.

Self Care

Q : Is lunch provided? Or do we have to bring our own food?  

A: Lunch is not provided. You are responsible for food and water during your course, and should arrive packed and ready to start your day. An average student may consume a total of 1200-1500 calories per day. This can be in the form or your favorite bars, nut mix, jerky, sandwiches, burritos, etc. Make sure you are hydrated for a full day moving in the mountains. We recommend 2L of water (at minimum). A lightweight thermos with a hot beverage can go a long way in cold temps!

Q : What should I wear? 

A: We recommend bringing multiple clothing layers so you can layer up or layer down, depending on the weather and level of heat you are generating. There will be times that we’ll be generating heat by touring through the mountains or digging for avalanche rescue drills. You may want to delayer before doing aerobic exercise like this to avoid a future cold sweat. Other times, we will stop and sit in the snow (think snow pits). During these times, it is important to layer up and maintain our heat that we just generated. Having flexibility in your layering system allows you to adapt throughout the day. See our Avalanche Level 1 equipment list tab for recommendations.

Q: How is COVID-19 going to be managed during my Avalanche Level 1 course?

A: As professional risk managers, we take the wellbeing of our guides and clients very seriously. Please see our COVID-19 Policy for more info.

Q: Will I be able to go to the bathroom during the course?

A: It’s important to plan appropriately. It’s best to hit the bathroom before leaving for the trailhead as not all trailheads have facilities. If there is a bathroom at the trailhead, take advantage of it; you may not see another one for up to six hours. We recommend you have a Wag Bag (sort of like a dog bag for humans) for emergencies. In preparation for your trip, please review Leave No Trace principles to learn how you can help protect our environment.

Other

Q: Is it appropriate to tip the guides?

A: Guiding is a service-oriented profession and a gratuity for a job well done is recommended and greatly appreciated! If you are unsure about how much is appropriate, a rule-of-thumb is to think about what you’d tip at a restaurant for quality service.

13 reviews for Avalanche Level 1 Hybrid

  1. Noah Fields (verified owner)

    Took an AIARE 1 course from CMS and absolutely loved it. It was a great experience and I learned a ton about avalanche safety and backcountry travel. I highly recommend CMS!

  2. Megan Reuss (verified owner)

    Steve provided outstanding instruction for our small group of 6. We were able to apply what we learned in the online portion of the course in the backcountry in a safe way. Steven was able to answer any and all questions we brought up in a clear and concise way.

  3. chandlek70 (verified owner)

    Course was well managed by Ben and he prompted the students to become immersed in the course by actively thinking about the course objectives. Well done!

  4. Megan Reuss (verified owner)

    My wife and I have wanted to get into backcountry skiing for years and finally made the jump to buying our setup. We wanted to ensure we were knowledgable enough about avalanche danger and terrain ahead of touring on our own, and CMS’s AIARE 1 course was the best we could ask for in terms of giving us a foundation to build our backcountry experience on. The online curriculum was easy to follow and helped set us up for a great weekend in the field up at Estes. Our instructor, Steve, was an absolutely amazing teacher and guide. He made the weekend a blast while challenging our group and was able to answer all of our questions, whether gear or avalanche condition-related, with his vast experience in the backcountry. I would highly recommend this course for anyone who wants to get a proper backcountry education under their belt and have fun doing it ahead of hitting the trails.

  5. kayla.dome (verified owner)

    Everett did an awesome job combining education with what we are all passionate about; skiing. He helped us understand the importance of everything he taught us and why it mattered. His passion and understanding of the snow really helped us all feel safe. I would recommend this course to anyone who loves skiing both in bounds and out of bounds as a way to understand the mountain.

  6. Casey Romeo (verified owner)

    I learned an incredible amount during my AIARE 1 course. Before taking the course, I did not know how to properly dissect the risks of going into the backcountry, and now I feel comfortable with the next steps for going into the backcountry safely.

  7. CJ Amman (verified owner)

    I really enjoyed the AIARE structure with the online classwork upfront and then apply that knowledge to the backcountry for 2 days. I thought the online coursework was not only educational it was professional as well. The backcountry experience was exceptional. I really enjoyed my instructor and how we had the opportunity experience the online learning.

  8. Matthew Ramey (verified owner)

    Great course, the online learning portion was ok, and could have been better, but we had a supportive and caring guide who really made the course, both in the online sessions and in the field.

  9. Hanna Doyle (verified owner)

    AIARE 1 was a great experience. I learned so much and had a great time being in the outdoors with friends.

  10. Leah Livingston (verified owner)

    Ben is awesome and provided WAYYY more information that I could have imagined. We had two amazing ski tours in Hidden Valley and Bear Lake. Would highly recommend to anyone that wants to learn more about skiing outside the resorts!

  11. William Wiese (verified owner)

    Ian was an incredible instructor. He made things easy to understand and showed us how to apply our knowledge in the field.

  12. Jerry Byrd (verified owner)

    Thank you Katie for sharing your knowledge and passion with us! It was an enjoyable couple of days at Cameron Pass!

  13. little_castaldo (verified owner)

    Took AIARE I in February 2021 and had a fantastic time! Our instructor, Sarah, was fabulous, and the educational value exceeded my expectations.

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