AIARE Level 1 Course


The American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education (AIARE) is a 3-day, 24-hour introduction to avalanche hazards. With a mix of both classroom and field time, the focus of the course is to learn how to recognize hazards, how to manage and minimize them and finally how to respond in case of an emergency. 

Course Objectives 

Students will come away from the course having learned:
  • How to prepare and plan for a backcountry tour 
  • How to analyze an avalanche forecast 
  • How to identify avalanche terrain & avalanche types 
  • How to recognize hazardous conditions 
  • Basic snow pack understanding 
  • Route selection and terrain features 
  • Snowpack tests  and interpretation 
  • Educated decision making 
  • Basic rescue techniques 
  • Group management 

Course details 

  • Inclusions: AIARE Level 1 Course Manual, AIARE Field Book, AIARE Level 1 certificate upon successful completion of course. 
  • Exclusions: Lodging, food, avalanche safety gear, backcountry touring gear.
  • After successful completion of the AIARE Level 1 Rec Course students can further their education with AIARE Avalanche Rescue Course and AIARE Level 2 Rec Course

*Avalanche safety gear and backcountry touring set-ups can be rented for an additional fee.


For the first time ever Irwin Guides is offering an AIARE Levels 1 & 2 course that include a cat bump to explore our terrain. 

Most of our runs begin on Scarp Ridge which offers panoramic views of the Elk Mountains with peaks towering over 13-14,000 feet. Although Irwin is only 10 miles from the town of Crested Butte, Colorado, it receives three times more snow than the town itself. At an average of 600 inches per year, Irwin is considered a powder mecca. 

Plenty of Terrain for advanced skiers and thrill-seekers, we have extensive challenging terrain varying from open alpine bowls, steep narrow chutes and couloirs, and tight tree skiing. We also have many cliffs and rock bands that offer the chance to catch anywhere between 5-40 feet of air. Our terrain offers the unique opportunity for powder skiing on slopes of 30 and 40 degrees.  


2021 Dates TBD
Parents welcome 
$80 per person 
You will discover: 
• How to make decisions in the backcountry, manage avalanche hazards, ask ‘what if…’, and practice avalanche rescue using our personal rescue gear. 
• How to read our daily local avalanche forecast and apply our observations to avoid the avalanche problems. 
• Practice reading maps and learn how to use tools to assess slope angles, while discussing how to avoid potentially dangerous terrain. 
• Practice what we learn by getting out into the backcountry and we will definitely make some fun turns in the snow!! 

Please contact Emily Mirza or the IG Office with questions or to register. 

Irwin Guides is proud to partner with Ortovox!

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