AIARE 1 for Snowshoers/Skiers - Snoqualmie/Paradise 2023 Course 2

Avalanche Safety Course

AIARE 1 Avalanche Class

AIARE Level 1 avalanche safety course, open to all.

This is an AIARE certified level 1 avalanche course consisting of four hours of online pre-course work, two online evening lectures, and a two-day field trip in the backcountry in at Snoqualmie Pass and Paradise at Rainer. Lodging cost is not included in the registration fee. The online lectures and field trip dates are as follows: 

  • Pre-course work: Available starting Nov 1 and Due Wed, Nov 30th, 5:00pm (4-8 hrs self-paced online coursework)
  • Online Lecture 1: Mon, Dec 5th, 6:00pm - 8:00pm
  • Online Lecture 2: Wed, Dec 14th, 6:00pm - 8:00pm
  • Field Trip: Sat, Dec 17 (Snoqualmie) - Sun, Dec 18 (Paradise at Rainier), 8am - 4pm  (field trip days are subject to move to Stevens or Baker in case of limited snow)

This course introduces students to terminology, terrain identification.  Students will learn about factors that contribute to increasing or decreasing risk such as weather, snowpack, human error and terrain. Students at this level are given techniques to mitigate risk and avoid avalanches through reading terrain, trip planning, snowpack evaluation, understanding avalanche forecasts, travel techniques and team decision making. 


The class is oriented toward demonstrating practical ways to make safe decisions when traveling in avalanche terrain. The planning and decision making tools introduced in this course are just as applicable to managing all sorts of mountaineering hazards as they are to safety in avalanche terrain. Companion rescue methods are also covered in this class. 

I can't think of one moment in the course which was not a learning experience. I especially liked how my instructors challenged us to judge terrain and make choices at the field trip, and then asked us to reflect on those decisions.

The first field trip day will be in the backcountry in the Snoqualmie Pass area.  The second field trip day will be in the backcountry in the Paradise area at Rainier. The field trip starts promptly at 8am on Saturday and Sunday mornings and weather can make an early morning arrival challenging. The field days will end at 4pm. NOTE: Due to early season scheduling of this class, the location of the field trip could potentially be changed in the week leading up to the field trip to Stevens or Baker if there is insufficient snow at Snoqualmie or Paradise.


Lodging is not provided. 

COVID Policy:

All students and instructors are required to be vaccinated against covid-19 in order to take this course. By registering for this course, students acknowledge that they are or will be vaccinated before the first class session. Students will be required to submit a copy of their vaccination card via the online classroom prior to the first lecture.


Students will receive pre-coursework information starting on November 1st. This coursework must be completed by November 30th prior to the start of the class.


During the open registration period, students can cancel their registration and receive a refund of their course fee minus a $50 cancellation fee. After registration closes, students will receive no refunds for cancellations. Pre-course work and attendance at all classes are required. We will attempt to provide one make-up field day for anyone who could not attend part or all of the field trips due to illness.


To learn more about the AIARE approach to avalanche education used by the Mountaineers, visit the AIARE website.

Badges you will earn:

Course Requirements
Course Activity Date Availability Leader
Online Classroom
Mon, Dec 5, 2022
Registration closed Nov 16
1 participant
0 instructors
Lecture 2
Online Classroom
Wed, Dec 14, 2022
Registration closed Nov 16
1 participant
0 instructors
Field Trip
Gold Creek Basin
Sat, Dec 17, 2022
Registration closed Nov 16
1 participant
1 instructor
Sun, Dec 18, 2022
Registration closed Nov 16
1 participant
1 instructor
Required Equipment

During the two day field trip students will need the following equipment:

  • Either backcountry skis / splitboard with skins, or snowshoes. 
  • A metal shovel designed for avalanche rescue (no plastic shovels)
  • A full length avalanche probe (Minimum length of 240cm / Recommended length of 280cm)
  • An avalanche beacon (2 or 3 antenna beacons are required)
  • Clothes suitable both for standing around and getting exercise outdoors all day in possibly cold, windy, snowy or even rainy conditions. 
Course Materials

You must register for this course to see course materials.