AIARE 1 for Snowshoers/Skiers - Seattle - 2020

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 three evening lectures at the Mountaineers clubhouse in Seattle, and a two-day  field trip based out of the Mountaineers Baker Lodge at the Mount Baker ski area. Lodging cost is not included in the registration fee. Students are recommended to stay at the Mount Baker Lodge (see below for more information). The lectures and field trip dates are as follows: 

  • Lecture 1: Thu, Jan 30th, 6:30pm - 9:30pm
  • Lecture 2: Mon, Feb 3rd, 6:30pm - 9:30pm
  • Lecture 3: Wed, Feb 5th, 6:30pm - 9:30pm
  • Field Trip: Sat,  Feb 8th - Sun, Feb 9th, 8am - 4pm
The course introduces students to the primary factors that cause avalanches such as weather, snowpack, human error and terrain and stresses ways to avoid avalanches, such as 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 course registration fee does not include lodging.  Students are encouraged to stay at the Mount Baker Lodge on the Friday and Saturday night of the field weekend to make logistics and travel easier. The field trip starts early on Saturday morning and weather can make an early morning arrival challenging. 


In early January, registered students will receive a welcome email and a link to register for the Baker Lodge. People registered for the class will have an opportunity to sign up for lodging before public registration opens up for the lodge.


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. Attendance is required at all classes and no make-up classes are provided.

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
Wed, Jan 13, 2021
Registration closed Dec 14
1 participant
2 instructors
Online Classroom
Wed, Jan 20, 2021
Registration closed Dec 14
0 participants
0 instructors
Online Classroom
Thu, Jan 13, 2022
Registration closed Dec 7
0 participants
Weekend Field Trip
Baker Lodge
Sat, Jan 30, 2021 -
Sun, Jan 31, 2021
Registration closed Dec 14
0 participants
0 instructors
Meany Lodge
Sat, Feb 20, 2021 -
Sun, Feb 21, 2021
Registration closed Jan 14
24 participants
1 instructor
Baker Lodge
Sat, Jan 22, 2022 -
Sun, Jan 23, 2022
Registration closed Dec 7
0 participants
Lecture 2
Online Classroom
Tue, Jan 18, 2022
Registration closed Dec 7
0 participants
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 (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.