AIARE Level 1 Avalanche Safety Course-Backcountry Education Level 1 Part 1
COVID-19 UPDATE* Lectures will have 2 options:ONLINE or IN CLASS. Each option will max out at 10 per group. ALL LECTURE DATES are In Class @Ascent Outdoors. Online Schedule will be added shortly.
- 2020 Nov 30- Dec 1(3 SPOTS LEFT), Dec 7-8(FULL), 14-15, Dec 28-29
- 2021 Jan 4-5(2 SPOTS LEFT) ,11-12, 18-19; Feb 1-2, 8-9, 15-16 ; March 1-2, 8-9
- 2020 Dec 5-6(3 SPOTS LEFT), 12-13(FULL), 19-20
- 2021 Jan 2-3, 9-10(2 SPOTS LEFT), 16-17(4 SPOTS LEFT), 23-24; Feb 6-7, 13-14, 20-21; March 7-8, 14-15
- Duration: 3 Days
- Level: Beginner
- Client Ratio: 6:1
- $635 with BC Level 1 w/Intro to Touring
- Included: Student handbook, Field notebook, evening lectures and field instruction.
- Not Included: Transportation to field location, transceivers, shovels, probes or touring equipment. A detailed equipment list will be sent to all participants.
American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education) Level 1 Avalanche Safety Courses teach back country travel with a clear understanding of the current avalanche hazards and communication. Our Instructors continue with lessons in terrain selection, travel techniques, basic field based decision making processes, and make sure everyone leaves the course with the companion rescue techniques required to recover your partner.
Seattle Lectures Mon & Tues 7:00 to 10:00 pm @Ascent Outdoors
- Lecture Sessions Topics Include: Snowpack, Avalanche Phenomenon, Terrain Analysis, Stability Evaluation, Avalanche Hazard Ratings, Human Factors And Risk Assessment, Decision Making.
Field Day 1 @Snoqualmie Pass Arrive 8:00 am and get ready for the day. Meet at 8:30am, perform a gear check, do introductions, and then start our program. We learn how to use the gear efficiently including learning more about transceivers, probes and shovels. We will practice self-rescue and Companion rescue and take a closer look at the snowpack by digging a test profile to find any slabs.
Field Day 2 We continue our education by focusing on Terrain Management, Track Setting, and more advanced transceiver techniques. We bring all the skills together and move into Tour Planning, Map And Compass Navigation.
Optional 2-Day Intro to Backcountry Touring Extension: “Putting it All Together” add a weekend and develop tour plans and apply appropriate travel techniques. Participants will test their judgment on a full day tour under the instructors’ guidance. Additional practice with skinning, track setting and route finding as well.
- Adjustable Ski poles with powder (big) baskets*
- Skis or snowboard.Skis should be equipped with alpine touring bindings or telemark bindings. We prefer split decision snowboards w/ skins because you do not need snow shoes.
- Alpine touring, telemark, or snowboard boots
- Snowshoes for snowboarders
- Skins with glop stopper (skin wax)
- Avalanche Beacon This needs to be Triple Antenna.
- Shovel Small collapsible style
- Avalanche Probe 265cm or longer
- Helmet for riding and climbing adjustable to fit over hats *Optional
- Lightweight base layer T-shirt or long sleeve polypropylene shirt
- Soft Shell
- 1 Down/synthetic jacket with hood
- 1 Hard shell jacket with hood Waterproof and breathable. roomy enough to fit over multiple layers.
- 1 pair liner gloves Thin wool or polypropylene
- Shell gloves or mitts
- Warm hat Wool or synthetic
- Balaclava or Buff
- Shade hat or baseball cap
- 1 pair warm wool/synthetic socks. Check boot fit before going out.
- 1 pair lightweight long underwear Polypropylene or Capilene
- Soft shell pants with Schoeller fabrics
- Shell pants Waterproof/breathable with full side zips, Gore-Tex or equivalent is best
- Internal frame pack 2000-2500 cubic inch capacity, avoid unnecessary options that add weight
- Goggles & Sunglasses 100% UV protection
- Personal first aid kit Basics: moleskin/blister kit, Band-Aids, first-aid tape, ibuprofen, personal medications, etc.
- Lip balm At least SPF 20,
- Sunscreen At least SPF 40
- Headlamp compact LED
- 2 water bottles 1 liter wide-mouth Nalgene and 1 bottle holster, or
- Hand wipes
- 1 small stainless steel thermos (Optional)
- Lunch & snack food (no more than 2 pounds)
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
WILL MY GUIDE (OR GUIDES) BE?
You will receive an introductory email with the instructor for your course. We are small company who enjoy working together in the mountains as well as highly skilled professionals who hold current Wilderness First Responder certification and are proficient in technical rescue and evacuation skills. Our guides are dedicated to the world of alpinism, many having first ascents and hold professional certifications with AIARE & AMGA. The AMGA is part of the IFMGA, which is the international body of certified mountain guides.
HOW MUCH SHOULD I TIP MY GUIDES?
Tipping is considered standard practice in the guiding industry. Tipping amounts vary – Often 10% of the course cost is a good rule-of-thumb, so $15-20 per day per person/per guide is average that works well for the guides without a serious blow to your wallet. If you feel that the program was exceptional or substandard the tip can reflect that.
CAN I RENT EQUIPMENT FROM BCAG?
If you need these plus touring equipment, Ascent Outdoors rents avalanche safety equipment, alpine touring, tele and split boards click here. Quantities are limited so please contact Ascent Outdoors as soon as possible if you are interested.
HOW HEAVY WILL MY PACK BE?
You will carry 10-15 pounds, which will include everything on the equipment list.
WHEN DO I NEED TO PAY THE BALANCE OF MY TRIP?
Payable when you make your reservation by check, or credit card.
WHAT HAPPENS IF I NEED TO CANCEL MY TRIP?
If you should decide to cancel your trip, BCAG must be notified in writing. Your trip will be cancelled from the date we receive written notice. You will be assessed a cancellation fee according to the following schedule:
90 to 22 days from trip departure – 50% of trip cost
30 days or less – 100% of trip cost
WHAT HAPPENS IF I WANT TO CHANGE THE DATES OF MY TRIP?
Schedule changes are subject to a $50 fee per person up to 2 weeks out and $100 less then 14 days from the start of the trip and may not be possible. If conditions or circumstances preclude running a scheduled program we reserve the right to make the decision as to whether the program will be canceled, rescheduled, or an alternative provided.
WHAT HAPPENS IF BC ADVENTURE GUIDES HAS TO CANCEL MY TRIP?
In the rare circumstance where we need to cancel a program you can reschedule without a fee or receive a refund on your deposit. If circumstances arise that force us to cancel a program that is already in progress we reserve the right to decide whether a refund or credit, at a prorated rate, will be issued. We are not responsible for cancellation fees or costs arising from your changed or cancelled flights, lodging, or other arrangements. We strongly recommend obtaining trip cancellation insurance from your travel agent.
DO I NEED TO PURCHASE TRIP INSURANCE?
BCAG highly encourages the purchasing of trip cancellation and travel insurance on domestic trips and requires it on International trips. Europeans and Canadians use it because travel insurance provides coverage for trip cancellation and interruption, travel delays, loss of baggage and travel documents, baggage delays, medical expenses and emergency assistance.
Several options include Travelex or Travel Guard International at (1-877-248-8992) & www.travelguard.com for protecting your investment, however there are many companies to choose from and you may wish to do some individual research regarding which policy is right for you.
WHEN SHOULD I PLAN TO LEAVE A RETURN HOME?
We often get this question because most people need to know how much total time they need to take off work. Our Avi and Ski Tours begin by 8 AM at the trailhead and return to the car by 3. Our return to Seattle on the last day typically allows you to get back between 5-7 with the descent and drive back.