Overview:

We’re bringing avalanche education to you! Join us for our unique, convenient split course experience in either Boulder or Denver and let us accommodate your work schedule. This AIARE 1 Avalanche Education course will meet in the classroom for three hours Tuesday and Thursday evenings (in either Denver or Boulder) before reconvening in Estes Park over the weekend.

The AIARE 1 Split Course is a four-day / 24-hour introduction to avalanche hazard management.

Students can expect to develop a good grounding in how to prepare for and carry out a backcountry trip, to understand basic decision making while in the field, and to learn rescue techniques required to find and dig up a buried person (if an avalanche occurs and someone in the party is caught).

Our instructor team is made of experienced AIARE instructors and professional mountain guides with decades of experience in avalanche terrain, from the Alps to Alaska to right here in Rocky Mountain National Park, one of the country’s premier winter adventure destinations. In addition to classroom work, our course includes field instruction each day to provide a well-rounded education to backcountry decision-making, trip planning, terrain selection, and companion rescue techniques. This course provides essential training for anyone traveling in avalanche terrain and can be taken on backcountry skis, split board, or snowshoes. With a maximum ratio of six students per instructor in a twenty seven-hour course, we exceed AIARE minimum standards to provide the highest level of instruction.

Prerequisites:

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.

Preparation:

The AIARE 1 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 AIARE 1 and Avalanche Rescue as a prerequisite for the Pro 1 course.

Time:

Tuesday & Thursday: 6pm - 9pm, Saturday and Sunday: 8:00am - 6:00pm

Duration:

2 Evenings 2 Full Days

Maximum Ratio:

6:1

Minimum Age:

Please call to register participants under age 18

Meeting location:

Denver Sessions:
Rab Denver: 1550 Platte St a, Denver, CO 80202

Boulder Sessions:
Neptune Mountaineering: 633 S Broadway, Boulder, Co 80305

Estes Park Sessions:
Kind Coffee: 470 E Elkhorn Ave, Estes Park, CO 80517 -or- Fall River Village: 200 Filbey Ct, Estes Park, CO 80517

 

Details:

Reasons Why CMS AIARE Courses Are Worth It!

  • CMS is the countries largest AIARE Provider for a reason!
  • 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
  • Our Instructors are career guides, with decades of personal experience
  • Our Instructors are AMGA Ski Guide trained or Certified
  • We have a full-time office staff to answer all of your questions
  • We supply our students with their own slope meter
  • Variety of course offerings to meet our guests scheduling needs. Huts (Berthoud), Splits, CMS, Summit, Aspen L2’s
  • Get avalanche training in the ski venue you ski in locally.
  • Fully sponsored by industry leaders Dynafit, Scarpa, BCA.
  • Full snow safety rental fleet.
  • Neptune ski shop support with rentals of ski equip.

Lodging:

With a sixteen-bed lodge available, Colorado Mountain School provides students the opportunity to spend their entire stay in Estes Park without the hassle of commuting. Our lodge is conveniently located in downtown Estes Park and features a full kitchen, WiFi and hot showers. Reserve a bed now for just $40 per night (plus tax).

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.

At the end of the AIARE 1 course the student should be able to:

  • Develop a plan for travel in avalanche terrain.
  • Demonstrate the ability to identify avalanche terrain.
  • Effectively use the AIARE Decision Making Framework to make terrain choices in a group setting
  • Demonstrate effective companion rescue.

10 Things you’ll learn about traveling in avalanche terrain:

  • Types of avalanches and their characteristics
  • How avalanches form and release
  • Primary start-zone factors
  • Identifying avalanche terrain
  • Ways to spot and avoid common trigger points
  • Trip planning, preparation, and navigation
  • Travel techniques
  • Group decision-making skills
  • Avalanche rescue techniques
  • Weather, terrain, and snowpack considerations

Evening 1

6:00: Introduction to CMS, AIARE & Course Logistics
6:15: Course Orientation
6:30: Avalanche Types, Characteristics & Problems
7:20: Case Study
8:10: Formation of Layers in the Mountain Snowpack
8:50: Homework & Goodnight

Evening 2

6:00: Questions and Review
6:15: Avalanche Terrain
7:00: Human Factors
8:00: Choose Terrain and Travel Wisely
8:50: Homework & Next Day Briefing

Day 1

8:00: Questions and Review
8:15: Observe & Tour Planning with Guides
9:00: Transition to Parking Lot
9:15: Flux Line Demo
9:30: Travel to RMNP
10:00: Companion Rescue Practice
1:30: Snowpack Profile
3:30: Debrief in Large Group
4:55: Homework & Goodnight

Day 2

8:00: Questions & Review
8:10: Tour Planning with Guides
9:00: Transition to Cars
9:15: Travel to RMNP
9:55: Terrain Tour & Small Group Debrief
3:25: Travel to Classroom
4:10: Learning Outcomes Review
4:20: Course Evaluations & Certificates
4:35: Mentorship, Resources & Ongoing Learning
4:55: Course Close

Price Includes:

  • AIARE Certified Course Leader and Instructor/s
  • Digital AIARE Course Manual
  • AIARE Field Book (yours to keep)
  • BCA Slope Meter (yours to keep)
  • CMS Field Pencil (yours to keep)
  • AIARE Certificate of Completion provided by AIARE
  • Use of Avalanche Equipment during course
    • Beacon
    • Shovel
    • Probe
    • Snowshoes

Price Excludes:

  • Food
  • Transportation
  • Lodging
  • Clothing, backpack and non-technical personal items
  • Skiing Equipment (Recommend Neptune Mountaineering)
  • Park Entrance Fees (where applicable)
  • Rescue Insurance
  • Trip Insurance
  • Gratuity
  • Misc. Charges
    • Rescue Fees
    • Helicopter Fees
    • Trip Insurance
  • 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 2 or 3

Neptune Mountaineering

Colorado Mountain School; 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; 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; 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. Large backpacking packs are acceptable, depending on the climb.

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 Merino 120 Pants
Women: Rab Merino 120 Pants

Neptune Mountaineering

Clothing
Beanie/Fleece Hat

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

1

Rab Logo Beanie

Neptune Mountaineering

Clothing
Climbing Skins

Nylon or mohair. Trimmed/adjusted to fit your skis/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
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, and/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

Julbo Atlas

Neptune Mountaineering

Equipment
Hardshell Pants

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

1

Men: Rab Latok Alpine Pants
Women: Rab Firewall Pants

Neptune Mountaineering

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

RAB Alliance

Neptune Mountaineering

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 Merino 120 Long Sleeve
Women: Rab Merino 120 Long Sleeve

Neptune Mountaineering

Clothing
Lightweight Gloves

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

1

RAB Power Stretch Pro

Neptune Mountaineering

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 Merino 160 Hoody
Women: Rab Merino 160 Long Sleeve

Neptune Mountaineering

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 Guide

Neptune Mountaineering

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

BCA Neck Tube

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

Dynafit ST

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
Ski/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 Maestrali RS

Neptune Mountaineering

Neptune Mountaineering

Equipment
Skis/Snowboard

Skis should have touring bindings; lightweight tech bindings are ideal. Splitboards are ideal for snowboarders. Snowboarders using resort snowboards will need to have snowshoes and poles.

1

Dynafit Chugach; Dynafit Radical ST 2.0

Neptune Mountaineering

Neptune Mountaineering

Equipment
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
Snow Saw

For cutting columns during snowpack analysis

1

BCA 35cm Snow/Wood Saw

Neptune Mountaineering

Optional
Snowshoes

Great for walking over snow. Snowshoes work by distributing the weight of the person over a larger area so that the foot does not sink (posthole) into the snow.

1

MSR

Neptune Mountaineering

Colorado Mountain School

Equipment
Softshell/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 Alpha Direct
Women: Rab Alpha Direct

Neptune Mountaineering

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 sun at bay during the approach and descent.

1

Neptune Mountaineering

Clothing
Sunglasses

"Wrap-Around" style sunglasses with 100% UV Protection.

1

Julbo Stunt

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 Zero G
Women: Rab Electron

Neptune Mountaineering

Clothing
Synthetic/Merino Wool Socks

Wool/Synthetic blends are great for long days on the trail. "Ski" and "Snowboard" socks are especially useful when warmth is desired.

2

Point 6 Hiking 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/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 Latok
Women: RAB Latok

Neptune Mountaineering

Clothing

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