AIARE 1 Avalanche Training:
A 24-hour introduction to avalanche hazard management
We teach a complete program of curriculum established by the American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education (AIARE) and are the world’s largest and most experienced AIARE provider.
You can expect to develop a solid foundation in 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.
Learn more about student learning outcomes in the “Curriculum” tab above.
This course provides essential training for anyone traveling in or near avalanche terrain: snowboarders, ski tourers, snowmobilers, mountaineers, snowshoers, everyone! For aspiring professionals, this course fulfills a prerequisite for the AIARE Pro 1 course down the line.
By completing this course with Colorado Mountain School, you will receive a certification from AIARE and join a network of tens of thousands of AIARE 1 avalanche training graduates.
Why Our AIARE Courses Are Worth It:
- Colorado Mountain School is the country’s 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
- 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
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 course includes the AIARE online course prep. The remainder of your course will take place both in the classroom and the mountains. You should be prepared, mentally and physically, to stay immersed in the backcountry for up to six hours. You will be assigned to a small touring group consisting of one AIARE Instructor and a maximum of six students to simultaneously allow intimate instruction and the ability to spread out. Here’s a preview itinerary of what your course could look like:
Self-Paced AIARE- e-Learning:
AIARE Self-paced online learning that can be completed prior to field days.
CMS Lodge + Field Day 1 – 8:00am – 4:00pm
- 8:00am- 8:30am: Meet at the CMS Lodge, Complete Waivers
- 8:30am- 9:00am : Course Welcome, Student and Instructor Introductions, Lodge briefing
- 9:00am- 10:30am: Seasonal Preparation
- 10:30- 11:00am: Track Seasons Conditions
- 11:00am- 11:10am: Break
- 11:10am- 12:30pm: Mountain Weather 101 (NOAA, CAIC, Recording weather observations in Blue Book)
- 12:30pm- 1:00pm : Break for Lunch – Transition to the backcountry
- 1:00pm- 2:00pm: Companion Rescue Introduction
- 2:00pm- 2:30pm: Field session ( Avalanche Rescue Quick Reference )
- 2:30pm-3:30pm: Practice drills, reinforce basic skills
- 3:30pm-4:00pm: Day 1 debrief in the backcountry
CMS Lodge + Field Day 2 – 8:00am – 4:30pm
- 8:00am – 8:30am: Meet at CMS Lodge, Review material covered on day 1
- 8:300am – 9:15am: Tour Planning Essentials ( Caltopo, Avenza, Gaia, & Google Earth )
- 9:15am – 10:00am: Fill out the trip planning pages in the Blue Book, Instructor led
- 10:00 – 11:30am: Transition to the backcountry
- 11:30am – 1:00pm: Instructor led tour, weather and snowpack observations
- 1:00pm – 3:00pm: Terrain tour (ATES) and gather relevant weather observations ( Recorded in AIARE Bluebook )
- 3:00pm – 4:30pm: Debrief observations back at the CMS Lodge + Submit CAIC Observations
CMS Lodge + Field Day 3 – 8:00am – 4:30pm
- 8:00am – 8:30am: Meet at CMS Lodge, Split up into touring groups, Review plan for the day
- 9:00am – 9:30am: Student led morning briefing, Trailhead transceiver function check
- 9:30am – 3:00pm: Student/Instructor-led tour: Terrain Identification, recording observations in field books, snowpack tests / observations, weather observations, review companion rescue
- 3:00pm – 3:30pm: Debrief observations in the field
- 3:30pm – 4:30pm: Return to CMS Lodge, rental gear return, course wrap up & next steps
Optional Learning Resources – All Season Long
- Virtual mentorship sessions
- Students-only webinars
- Tech tip video library
- Community Facebook forum: find partners, discuss coursework & more
CMS Lodge in Estes Park, located on 341 Moraine Ave.
Estes Park – Ridgeline Hotel
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.
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.
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 winter backcountry adventures. 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 COVID-19 FAQ page.
All Upcoming Dates and Locations:
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