There are quite a few AIARE (American Institute for Avalanche Research) training courses available.  And, for the most part, you must complete them in order since one is usually a prerequisite for another.  AIARE has three different levels of training:  Recreational; Professional; Instructor.  With Backcountry Babes, we only offer the Recreational AIARE classes.

Avalanche Rescue Course

AIARE Avalanche Rescue is a one-day stand alone course that is intended to be retaken on a regular basis in order to keep abreast of best practices in rescue techniques and gear. New participants will learn the basics of companion rescue, while returning participants will expand their skill set with advanced topics and realistic scenario practice to help improve their skills.

Student Learning Outcomes

At the end of the Avalanche Rescue course the student should be able to:

  • Describe what to do if they or a member of their party is caught in an avalanche.
  • Identify and be able to use gear necessary for avalanche rescue.
  • Set up a realistic scenario in order to practice an avalanche rescue response.
  • Improve their response skills and times during and after the course with feedback from instructors and peers.
  • Develop a plan for continuing practice.

All students will have the opportunity to get feedback from an instructor on their rescue skills and timed practice in a realistic scenario.

Students who have previously taken an AIARE 1 or an Avalanche Rescue Course will find value in having a professional help them set up realistic scenarios, practice skills in a realistic setting, receive feedback from an instructor, keep up with current best practices, and have an opportunity to practice advanced rescue skills.

AIARE 1 Course

The AIARE 1 is for anyone, regardless of method of travel, who wants to recreate in or near avalanche terrain. Participants may have attended some awareness classes or workshops or completed the Avalanche Rescue course, but none are a prerequisite for this course.

Aspiring professionals will need to take the AIARE 1 and Avalanche Rescue as a prerequisite for the Pro 1 course.

Student Learning Outcomes

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

  • Develop a plan for travel in avalanche terrain.
  • Demonstrate the ability to identify avalanche terrain.
  • Effectively use The AIARE Risk Management Framework to make terrain choices in a group setting.
  • Demonstrate effective companion rescue.

AIARE 2 Course

The AIARE 2 is a three-day course for those who have taken an AIARE 1 and Avalanche Rescue and have had at least a year of backcountry travel experience. The AIARE 2 provides backcountry leaders the opportunity to advance their avalanche knowledge and decision making skills.

Student Learning Outcomes

At the end of the AIARE 2 course, the student should be able to:

  • Differentiate where specific avalanche hazards exist within the landscape and identify avalanche terrain where consequences may be more severe.
  • Use and interpret weather, snow, and avalanche observations to locate appropriate terrain prior to entering and while in the field.
  • Demonstrate leadership skills within a small team that include facilitating small group discussion, promoting appropriate terrain selection, and utilizing simple risk management strategies.
  • Implement a basic forecasting framework that can be used in conjunction with and in the absences of local supporting avalanche information.

Prerequisites

Pursuing a Career?

If you are interested in pursuing a career in avalanche forecasting for a ski area, forecasting for an avalanche center, DOT forecaster or a heli guide then you would need to complete the Recreational Avalanche Classes plus the Pro classes as well. You can also pursue a career as an avalanche class instructor if you are more interested in the teaching aspects of Avalanche Education.  Keep in mind Pro and Instructor classes are very minimal in both size and offerings.  Make sure you book well in advance and are willing to travel to the location specified.  To put that in perspective, there are only 5 classes for the Pro 1 for 2021 spread out across the Western U.S. and only 1 class for the Pro 2 for 2021.

To find out more about the AIARE Classes visit avtraining.org

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