AIARE Level 1


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


Dec 14-16, 2019    Mt Hood,  $430

Dec 21-23, 2019    Mt Hood,  $430

Jan 18-20, 2020 (MLK)   Mt Hood,  $430

Feb 1-3, 2020    Mt Hood,  $430

Feb 22-24, 2020    Mt Hood,  $430


Upon registration, you will receive a confirmation email. Full course details will be emailed to all participants 2 weeks before the start of the course.

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 with 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.



$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.