AIARE Level 1


the AIARE Level 1 is the industry standard INTRODUCTORY avalanche education course.


Dec 8-10, 2018    Mt Hood,  $400 (sold out)

Dec 22-24, 2018    Mt Hood,  $400

Jan 5-7, 2019    Mt Hood,  $400

Jan 19-21, 2019    Mt Hood,  $400 (sold out)

Feb 2-4, 2019    Mt Hood,  $400

Feb 9-11, 2019    Mt Hood,  $400

March 2-4, 2019    Mt Hood,  $400


This is a 3 day course.  To receive the certificate, participants must attend all three days.  The first day is an indoor classroom day in Parkdale OR.  The next 2 days are outdoor field days on Mt Hood.  For the field days you must be ready and able to spend the entire day outside in winter conditions, food and drink, warm clothing etc.  We will brief you on what to bring so you are properly prepared. Hours for each day are 8am-4pm.  We do not provide accommodations or meals.  If you would like to rent backcountry touring gear (skis, skins, boots, splitboard) I recommend the Mountain Shop in Portland and for folks in the Gorge, 2nd Wind Sports.


This course will prepare you to make good decisions during your attempts to shred the gnar.

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


Topics covered during a Level 1 course.


Avalanche types and anatomy

Basic slab mechanics


• Terrain evaluation and route selection

• Travel protocols & group communication

Snowpack and Weather

• Mountain snowpack development leading to instability or stability

• Field observations, tests and judging instability

• Use of avalanche & snow pit tools: inclinometer, compass, probe, saw

• Introduce elementary pit diagrams with hand hardness profiles, basic grain

type symbols and stability tests. Expose to recording field notes.

• Avalanche & snow climates

Decision-support Tools

• Human factors and the need for systematic decision tools

• Application & limitations of decision tools

• Avalanche bulletins


• Companion rescue including scene size up, organization, beacon use, probing,


• Recovery of victims not wearing beacons

• Common mistakes in avalanche rescue

• Single and multiple beacon search techniques

• Role of first aid and emergency response in real avalanche rescues

Critique: Recommendations for further skills development, preparation for a level 2.


Jan 21-23, 2017  Mt Hood, taught by Backcountry Adventure Guides, Hosted by MountainSavvy

Feb 11-13, 2017  Mt Hood, taught by Backcountry Adventure Guides, Hosted by MountainSavvy


$10 flat rate fee provides access to all of MountainSavvy's rental gear.  Avalanche beacon, probe and shovel are essential for all courses. 


Taking an avalanche course does not guarantee your safety in avalanche terrain.  It will help you to understand the subtleties of the many factors required for consideration to make safe decisions.