Avalanche Rescue Course curriculum brought to you by:
We teach a complete program of curriculum established and developed by the American Avalanche Institute (AAI).
The AAI Avalanche Rescue course is a one-day field based course focused on learning, practice and coaching of companion rescue techniques. This course covers rescue fundamentals, survival statistics, survival strategies, and first response tactics. We will take time to demonstrate and then practice transceiver searches, airbag deployment, strategic shoveling, and team rescue response. We will discuss what to carry in the field, recommended training for backcountry travel, and emergency response strategies. This is a great opportunity to learn or hone your avalanche rescue response skills.
Each participant will have the opportunity to receive professional coaching on their rescue skills and will receive a rescue card at course end.
This is a stand alone course and is intended for anyone interested in backcountry travel, retaking the course on a regular basis is strongly encouraged to maintain skill sets and stay up to date on changes and developments in rescue methodology and techniques.
Students who have previously taken an Avalanche Level 1 or an Avalanche Rescue Course will find value in having a professional help them set up a realistic scenario, practice skills in a realistic setting, receive feedback from an instructor, keep up with current best practices, and have an opportunity to practice advanced rescue skills.
Avalanche Rescue is a prerequisite for the Level 2 Avalanche and Pro 1 courses. CMS and AAI recommend that all backcountry travelers keep their skills current by taking an Avalanche Rescue Course and receiving a rescue card at least every other year.
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.
Instructor and Student Introductions, Course Objectives, Course Itinerary and Logistics
Personal and group avalanche rescue gear
- Identify and become familiar with winter personal protective, avalanche rescue, and self-evacuation equipment and their proper use.
- learn techniques and practice routines to check gear’s function, learn a systematic trailhead check
Individual Avalanche Rescue
- Foundational rescue skills – transceivers, pinpoint probing and shoveling – coaching and practice
- Scene size up and rescue plan
- Managing your backcountry group in rescue settings
Single Burial Scenarios
- Integrate individual skills into a rescue scenario.
Patient Considerations and Evacuation
- Identify potential patient care considerations resulting from avalanche burial or involvement.
- Learn about equipment for self-evacuation and communication to outside resources.
- Learn considerations when interfacing with Search and Rescue and Emergency Medical Services.
Small Group Scenarios – Practice and Feedback
- Practice real rescue scenarios in small groups – delegate and Integrate skills and receive feedback on rescue response from a professional.
- How/when to deploy a probe line with a partner(s)
- Apply foundational skills to multiple victim scenarios without close proximity burials.
- Recognize challenges associated with deep burials.
- Employ repeatable method (Micro-strip or 3-circle) for locating close-proximity multiple burials
- Feedback, where to go from here, other resources
Colorado Mountain School
341 Moraine Ave
Estes Park, CO 80517
If you require lodging at our hostel in Estes Park, please make your reservations online in advance. Beds are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Our hostel features 16 beds in 3 rooms, bathrooms, showers, a full kitchen with appliances, dishes and utensils, wi-fi, ping-pong table, and a lounge area. Please be considerate of others lodgers during your stay.
We believe that avalanche training is best taught by combining theoretical concepts and experiential learning. Some topics are best learned in a comfortable classroom setting and others in the mountains, moving through terrain and digging into the snow. You’ll have both.
The majority of your course will take place in the mountains where we will learn in an open-air environment. You should be prepared, mentally and physically, to stay immersed in the backcountry for up to 8 hours. You will be assigned to a small pod consisting of one AIARE Instructor and a maximum of six students to allow intimate instruction and physical distancing.
The nature of this pandemic requires us to be flexible and adaptable in how we deliver a quality training experience. Rest assured, from the moment you enroll all the way up to your course field days and beyond, our instructors will be a part of your learning progression and will provide you with the tools and resources you need to best prepare for your avalanche training course. If you’d like to learn more about what we are doing to manage COVID-19 risk for our students and guides, please view our FAQ page.
Why Take an Avalanche 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
This course pertains to:
- Winter recreationists that travel in backcountry settings: Skiers, Snowboarders, Snowmobilers, Snowshoers, & Winter Mountaineers
- Aspiring Professionals
- SAR Volunteers
All Upcoming Dates and Locations:
- February 25, 2024 - February 25, 2024 - Avalanche Rescue - Estes Park, Colorado
- March 3, 2024 - March 3, 2024 - Avalanche Rescue - Estes Park, Colorado
- March 10, 2024 - March 10, 2024 - Avalanche Rescue - Estes Park, Colorado
- March 17, 2024 - March 17, 2024 - Avalanche Rescue - Estes Park, Colorado
- March 24, 2024 - March 24, 2024 - Avalanche Rescue - Estes Park, Colorado
- March 31, 2024 - March 31, 2024 - Avalanche Rescue - Estes Park, Colorado
- April 7, 2024 - April 7, 2024 - Avalanche Rescue - Estes Park, Colorado
- April 14, 2024 - April 14, 2024 - Avalanche Rescue - Estes Park, Colorado