Our class is based on the most up-to-date and advanced avalanche safety standards from the American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education (AIARE), and is taught by exceptional, experienced instructors qualified by AIARE.
We cater specifically to women, providing a comfortable, fun learning atmosphere to gain the knowledge and skills to become more confident and safe in the backcountry. The course covers awareness of hazardous conditions, dynamics of snowpack and weather, effective teamwork, and how to plan for and safely travel in avalanche terrain. Combining classroom and field components each day, this course empowers our students with the knowledge and confidence to make safer backcountry decisions.
Upon successful completion of the course, participants will obtain their AIARE-Avalanche Level 1 certificate.
Need financial help to pay for an avalanche education course? View our Avalanche Scholarship Program to learn more about whether you meet any of the criteria.
In the classroom, we’ll study avalanches, route-selection, snowpack, and gear. Then we’ll head outside to practice effective companion rescue techniques.
In the classroom, we plan and prep for our backcountry tour, learn to access online avalanche information and how to interpret the avalanche report. We’ll study avalanche terrain recognition, snow pack assessment and terrain selection before spending the day on a ski tour. While outside, we’ll practice snowpack stability tests and use visual clues to determine avalanche potential.
More eye-opening morning class time on mountain weather and snowpack stability. We’ll study the human factors of decision making in avalanche terrain. Learn decision making skills, effective communication strategies, and how to avoid common heuristic traps. Then we’ll head out on the skin trail for most of the day, studying route finding and travel techniques. Bring it all together on a tour with the goal of making good decisions in the backcountry. Tour location Vail Pass, weather and conditions dependent.
Backcountry skis or split-board, ski poles, ski or snowboard boots, climbing skins, avalanche beacon, avalanche probe, avalanche shovel, backcountry backpack, and proper outerwear and warm layers for field time. A limited quantity of G3 shovels, G3 probes, and BCA beacons in an Osprey Ski Pack are available to rent for the course on a first-come, first-serve basis. We recommend Mountain Outfitters in Breckenridge to rent a backcountry ski set up, or Mountain Wave for a splitboard set up.
FLY: To Denver or Vail/Eagle airport in Colorado.
DRIVE: To Frisco, CO. Our classroom will be in Frisco, and our tour days will be on Vail Pass, conditions and weather dependent. Other locations in the USFS White River National Forest are possible. Frisco is a good option for lodging.
I loved that this course was taught by women, for women, and in a really supportive environment. It was a really fun class!
This was an amazing avalanche course. The knowledge of the instructors was truly exceptional. I feel once again empowered to enjoy traveling in the winter backcountry terrain. They are “bad-ass”. Thanks!
The all women’s environment was amazing! The simple fact that I never felt embarrassed to ask a question made me learn so much more.
What a great weekend! Can’t wait to practice all my new skills. Thanks Jenna, Sarah, Nancy, and Leighan for all the knowledge you shared!