AIARE Level 1 – Decision Making in Avalanche Terrain

Contact: Linda Lawson, [email protected] .

Session 1: December 14, 15, 16  – Fee $375. (Limited to 30 students).
Click here to register for Session 1

Session 2:  January 26, 27, 28 (Registration will open on November 16) (Limited to 18 students).

Session 3:  March 13 & 14 evening lectures in Golden; March 16 & 17 in Georgetown (Limited to 30 students).

Field sessions for all at Berthoud Pass

Session 3 is not available for registration until Session 2 is filled.


Travel mode:  Students may use skis, split boards or snowshoes during field exercises; those with skis need to be able to ski proficiently in the backcountry at an intermediate level

If you participate in winter activities such as ice or snow climbing, backcountry telemark or tour skiing, ski mountaineering or snowshoeing in the backcountry, you want to know what AIARE (American Institute of Avalanche Research and Education) Level 1 training can do for you. Decision Making in Avalanche Terrain Level 1 is a 3-day/24-hour introduction to avalanche hazard management.

The AIARE Level 1 course is the North American standard for anyone who participates in winter/spring activities that can take you into potential avalanche terrain such as climbing, hiking, snowshoeing, skiing, or ice climbing.  This course will provide a basic understanding of avalanches and teach you a framework for decision making and risk management in avalanche terrain. 

Prerequisites:  There are no educational prerequisites for this course but being able to read a topographic map is critical to the travel route planned by students.

Students must be able to ski proficiently at an intermediate backcountry level or an advanced Blue level downhill.

Equipment:  Beacon, Shovel, Probe.  Equipment can be rented as a package from commercial retailers.  Students must be able to operate their beacon prior to attending class.  Ask the rental retailer to show you the beacon features.  Then, practice turning on and off prior to class and understanding what the digital readings mean or what sounds the beacon emits.

Leaders:  If you are a certified CMC Denver leader, AIARE Level 1 is available tuition free through the SALT (Support Aid for Leader Training) program providing you lead 3 qualifying winter, non-backcountry trips within 15-months of the date of your application. To lead winter trips (November through April) leaders need to complete Avalanche Terrain Avoidance (ATA) which is also available tuition free through the SALT program.  The ATA seminar is 3 hours of class time and a half day of field work.

Click here the SALT application form.