Avalanche - Aiare L1

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Students can expect to develop a good grounding in how to prepare for and carry out a trip, to understand basic decision making while in the field, and to learn rescue techniques required to find and dig up a buried person (if an avalanche occurs and someone in the party is caught).A final debrief includes a knowledge quiz to test student comprehension and to give feedback to instructors on instructional tools.

Avalanche – Aiare Level 1

Decision Making In Avalanche Terrain

(In affiliation with SMG)

Students are encouraged and counseled on how to apply the skills learned and told that no course can fully guarantee safety, either during or after course completion. A link is made to a future AIARE Level 2 course.

At the end of the Level 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

Instructional sessions (24 hours including both class and field instruction):

1. Introduction to the Avalanche Phenomena

  • Types and characteristics of avalanches
  • Avalanche motion
  • Size classification
  • The mountain snowpack: an introduction to metamorphism and layering

2. Observations and Information Gathering

  • Field observation techniques
  • Snowpack tests: rutschblock, compression test
  • Avalanche danger factors or “Red Flags”
  • Observation checklist
  • Avalanche danger scale

3. Trip Planning and Preparation

  • Avalanche terrain recognition, assessment, and selection
  • Route finding and travel techniques
  • Decision making and Human Factors

4. Companion Rescue and Equipment

Prerequisites:

No previous experience is required. Appropriate physical and mental fitness is necessary. Participants will be required to perform physically strenuous activities.

Custom dates are also available, please fill out our contact form or call the office at 910-286-5170 or 603-733-8416 for more information.

Required equipment for all avalanche courses:

  • Ski socks
  • Long underwear top and bottom
  • Fleece or softshell pants
  • Fleece Jacket
  • Hard shell (Gore-Tex or other waterproof/breathable) pants/bibs and jacket
  • Puffy coat (synthetic or down)
  • Warm hat
  • Balaclava/neck warmer
  • 1 pr. approach/lightweight gloves
  • 1 pr. warm waterproof gloves or mitts
  • Goggles
  • Sunglasses
  • Day pack (approx. 3000 cu. in)
  • Headlamp with extra batteries
  • 2 liters of water or thermos
  • Lunch and snacks for each day
  • Lip balm
  • Sun screen
  • Alpine touring or Telemark skis or Splitboard with skins, or Snowboard and snowshoes, or just snowshoes.
  • Ski Boots
  • Ski poles
  • Helmet
  • Optional: Repair kit, camera, altimeter watch, first aid kit, Mt. Washington map, compass

We will supply you with beacon, probe and shovel, but if you have your own, please let us know. You will also be receiving from us an AIARE Field Book and the AIARE Level 1 Student Manual.

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