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We need more Lead AIARE Avalanche Instructors!

Backcountry Babes, and all AIARE course providers, need a lead instructor on each AIARE Level 1 & 2 course.  Currently there are more students interested in signing up for courses than lead instructors are available to teach such courses.  So if you are an aiare instructor on the fence about becoming a lead….we at Backcountry Babes are begging you to take the next step in your avalanche education career!

Benefits of Becoming a Lead Instructor: Expand and grow your knowledge. Improve your teaching skills. Earn higher pay while teaching. Choose your own schedule: name the dates and locations you’d like to teach.  Opportunities to work for many different course providers and at many colleges. With Backcountry Babes: opportunities to travel to Tahoe, Vail, Breck, or Anchorage AK to teach our AIARE courses. Options to go down the road of becoming an avalanche forecaster, AIARE instructor trainer….

Partial Scholarships for aspiring lead instructors are available from our Winter Wildlands Alliance Film Festival Fundraisers and from the generosity of the Women of Squaw Valley Ski Patrol contributing  proceeds of their calendar fundraiser.  See the link for more info.  To see if you qualify and to apply for our scholarship program, check out the link:

How many courses and requirements does and instructor have to fulfill in order to become a lead instructor? In what order? How long does it take?

To answer these questions, I made a flow chart describing a path to becoming a Lead AIARE Course Instructor.

By the time you finish all these requirements, you will be an extremely experienced instructor.  So to you, aspiring Lead AIARE Course Instructor…I say GO FOR IT!! No need to delay, no need to wait until you have more experience, meanwhile letting less experienced people take leadership roles. Studies have shown that women are likely to wait until they meet 100% of the qualifications before applying for a job,  while men go for it with 60% of the qualifications.

Don’t wait until you’re 100% qualified to start on the process of becoming a lead instructor. The process itself takes a few years, so by the time you finish the requirements you’ll be VERY experienced.
How to Become a Lead AIARE Avalanche Course Instructor

1.A qualification for becoming a lead AIARE instructor is a minimum of 7 years experience with leadership and decision making in backcountry avalanche terrain.  If you don’t already have 7 years experience, you’ll get it going through the requirements.  Again, don’t let this requirement delay your start on the process.

2. To become a lead AIARE instructor, you must have instructed an AIARE level 1, 2, and Rescue Course.  Want to instruct a Backcountry Babes course? Do you support our mission of inspiring women to leadership in the outdoor field? Email Emily [email protected] to see if we have teaching opportunities available.

3. Sign up to take a class to earn your Pro 2 Certificate.  Pro 2 is the new name for the old AIARE Level 3. Several courses are offered each year, and sometimes a summer class in South America. Pro Course Listings.  Course dates typically publish in late August. Sign up early as these courses tend to fill!

4. Once you have your Pro 2 Certificate, it’s time for AIARE Course Leader Training! This course focuses on your teaching skills to deliver the AIARE curriculum to students.  AIARE Instructor Training Course Dates

This Could Be You!

See our Course Calendar for courses in your area: Breckenridge, Vail, Truckee, Tahoe, or Anchorage to shadow, teach, or get started as a student. Or, just for your own personal education. We’d love to have you join us on one of our avalanche courses.

This info is drawn from and interpreted by me, Emily.  I’ve also reviewed the flow chart with AIARE for accuracy.  Please feel free to chime in with additional comments and questions.  To read directly from AIARE, please see 2017 AIARE Recreational Avalanche Instructor and Course Leader Qualifications

Not Done Yet! Like everything in avalanche education…you don’t just check a bunch of boxes and call it done. Avalanche Education is a life-long learning process.  Click here to see more about Required and Recommended Continuing Professional Development for Avalanche Instructors.