AIARE 1 Avalanche Course-Foothills - 2023

Avalanche Safety Course

AIARE 1 Avalanche Course for Skiers and Splitboarders

AIARE 1 is an entry level course which teaches students to identify potential avalanche hazards, create a plan for where to go in response to the hazard (PLAN), manage hazards when in the terrain (RIDE), and learn from that experience (DEBRIEF). Graduates can expect to gain the skills to be an active participant in a mentored group.

AIARE 1 “Decision Making in Avalanche Terrain” uses a combination of self-directed online learning and group Zoom sessions. The online learning introduces the avalanche phenomenon, its types and characteristics, formation in the snowpack and the influence of weather.

During the three evening Zoom sessions (7:00-9:00pm) we meet in small groups to practice using tools and strategies to manage risk and to recognize the importance of human factors. Sessions include trip-planning scenarios using the AIARE field book, AIARE decision-making framework, NWAC forecasting, and digital mapping to plan and execute a trip in Pacific Northwest terrain.

The weekend field trip in the Snoqualmie backcountry starts at 8:00 am and finishes at 4:00pm each day. Students practice Companion Rescue skills on Saturday before traveling into avalanche terrain on Sunday. Students will plan, execute, and debrief their Sunday trip using the tools and strategies they have practiced in the small groups.

This course is for travel on skis and splitboards only. All participants in this course should have good over-snow ability on skis or splitboard as the field trip involves travel in small groups (6:1 student-instructor ratio) in varying snow-covered terrain. Students will be asked to fill out a skills and fitness questionnaire for placement in a small group with others of similar skills, fitness, and equipment. If you have any questions please feel free to email us at:  <>.

Student Learning Outcomes:

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

  • Plan and prepare for mentored travel in avalanche terrain.
  • Recognize avalanche terrain and learn how to mitigate risk.
  • Use a basic framework for making group decisions in avalanche terrain.
  • Learn and apply effective companion rescue.

Course Schedule:

Self-directed online learning completion and attendance at all classes is required.

  • Pre-Course Email introduction and links to Course materials: December
  • Zoom Sessions, January 12, 17, 19
  • One weekend Field Session, January 21-22, at Snoqualmie Pass, 8:00 am to 4:00 pm.

Course Fee (includes required AIARE Fieldbook):  Member:  $440, Non-Members: $500

Cancellation fees: During open registration the cancellation fee is $50. After registration closes, there are no refunds for cancellations.


Badges you will earn:

Course Requirements

This course has no scheduled activities.

Required Equipment

beacon, shovel, probe

Backcountry skis/bindings OR splitboard


Winter 10 Essentials

Course Materials

You must register for this course to see course materials.