AIARE Level 1

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AIARE Level 1


AIARE Level 1 is a 3 day/24 hour course designed as an introduction to avalanche hazard management.

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The AIARE 1 is a 3 day/24 hour introduction to avalanche hazard management.

Students can expect to develop a good grounding in how to prepare for and carry out a trip, to understand basic decision making while in the field, and to learn rescue techniques required to find and dig up a buried person (if an avalanche occurs and someone in the party is caught).

A final debrief includes a knowledge quiz to test student comprehension and to give feedback to instructors on instructional tools. Students are encouraged and counseled on how to apply the skills learned and told that no course can fully guarantee safety, either during or after course completion. A link is made to a future AIARE 2 course.

Student learning outcomes

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

  • Plan and prepare for travel in avalanche terrain.
  • Recognize avalanche terrain.
  • Describe a basic framework for making decisions in avalanche terrain.
  • Learn and apply effective companion rescue.

Instructional sessions (24 hours including both class and field instruction) :

1. Introduction to the Avalanche Phenomena

  • Types and characteristics of avalanches
  • Avalanche motion
  • Size classification
  • The mountain snowpack: an introduction to metamorphism and layering

2. Observations and Information Gathering

  • Field observation techniques
  • Snowpack tests: rutschblock, compression test
  • Avalanche danger factors or “Red Flags”
  • Observation checklist
  • Avalanche danger scale

3. Trip Planning and Preparation

  • Avalanche terrain recognition, assessment, and selection
  • Route finding and travel techniques
  • Decision making and Human Factors

4. Companion Rescue and Equipment

Course Details: The course class room sessions will be held in Mineral, CA and have the field based component in Lassen National Park. Course price includes housing in mineral for 2 nights, handouts, AIARE student manuals, AIARE Field book, use of avalanche rescue gear and snow science equipment. **Price does NOT include food and travel to and from Mineral**

Lassen is a remote area, make sure to bring all necessary equipment and food prior to showing up. This Course requires 4 people in order to run, so make sure to tell your friends!