Avalanche Rescue

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Learn and practice the skills needed to respond to an avalanche accident. If there’s an avalanche, an efficient and intentional response is crucial. An AIARE Level 1 Backcountry course with Apex Mountain School promises current information, modern practices, and qualified instructors. Apex Mountain School offers AIARE Avalanche Rescue courses almost every week throughout the winter, so you can take this course at any time or couple it with your Level 1 course in our Combo Course

This course takes place entirely in the field. Topics may include:

  • Companion Rescue Fundamentals
  • Complex Rescue Dynamics and Triage
  • Multiple Burial Rescue Drills
  • Close Proximity Burials
  • Deep Burials
  • Searching by Micro Grid and 3 Circle Methods
  • Other Advanced Techniques


Are you ready to sign up? We look forward to working with you. So register with the accompanying calendar, call (970) 949-9111 or use our contact page to request more



AIARE Avalanche Rescue courses are one-day and focus on avalanche rescue scenarios in a winter mountain environment. This course is a 100% Field Course, the entire course will take place outdoors and in the field. It is not a replacement of the AIARE Level 1 course but is, however, a prerequisite for AIARE Level 2 courses.

2023-24 DATES

  • Nov 16 (Thur)
  • Nov 27 (Mon)
  • Nov 30 (Thur)
  • Dec 7 (Thur)
  • Dec 14 (Thur)
  • Dec 21 (Thur)
  • Dec 28 (Thur)
  • Jan 4 (Thur)
  • Jan 15 (Mon)
  • Jan 22 (Mon)
  • Jan 25 (Thur)
  • Feb 5 (Mon)
  • Feb 12 (Mon)
  • Feb 19 (Mon)
  • Feb 22 (Thur)
  • Feb 29 (Thur)
  • Mar 11 (Mon)
  • Mar 14 (Thur)
  • Mar 25 (Mon)
  • Mar 28 (Thur)
  • Apr 8 (Mon)
  • Apr 11 (Thur)
  • Apr 22 (Mon)

*minimum 3 people to run

**Availability updated weekly. For present availability please see the booking calendar to the right of the page.**


$245 – per person


  • Apex Mountain School SWAG (Stuff We All Get)
  • Companion Rescue Search Card
  • 1 Field Day
  • AIARE Certificate of Completion


Easy – Moderate


One full day, 8am-4:30pm (8-9 hours)

*Start and end times are approximate


Meets either at our Office in Eagle-Vail, CO (see How to Find Us)


Field Location: Vail Valley, Vail Pass, Fremont Pass and/or surrounding areas 

*Courses run regardless of snow/weather conditions*


See our inclusion policy for special group requests.


This course is available to all ages 12 and up. (Ages 12-14 requires parents to attend also. All minor registrations must contact the office in advance of booking for prescreening approval.) 

Students should be prepared to travel in backcountry terrain by ski or splitboard (or snowshoe, if no other option). The course takes place in mountainous terrain, at altitude, possibly in harsh weather. As a result, we urge that students come prepared for unfavorable conditions. Suggestions for attire are located in the “to bring” tab.


  • Beacon/probe/shovel (rental available)
  • Clinometer (slope meter, also available on compasses)
  • Complete ski, split board or snowshoe equipment, including boots, poles, etc
  • *No cotton – cotton does not wick moisture or insulate when wet.
  • Long underwear bottom (thin) – synthetic or wool
  • Long sleeve top (medium) – synthetic or wool
  • Socks – synthetic or wool
  • Ground mat (insulation so you can sit on snow)
  • Water/wind proof jacket with hood, pants, and gloves
  • Notebook (for lecture day)
  • Any other items you would typically have in your pack on a backcountry trip
  • Warm gloves or mittens
  • Hat and neck gaiter or balaclava
  • Goggles or sunglasses
  • Small day pack
  • Water bottle and food
  • Headlamp and batteries

When Federally, Statewide, or Locally mandated and/or recommended, or when deemed appropriate by Apex staff, all students will be required to wear a COVID-apprioprate face covering at all times.



  • How to assign a leader
  • Organize a group
  • Implement structured search patterns
  • Recovery

We adapt to the individual and collective skill levels of the participants. This way we provide the greatest value to the participants based on where they are with the rescue skills. These skills may include the subsequent rescue techniques.

  • Avalanche rescue
  • Multiple burial
  • Deep burial
  • Triage
  • Other aspects of backcountry rescue

Winter travel in the Colorado Rockies and beyond demands a strong knowledge of the following items so we can appropriately asses and manage risk.

  • Avalanche terrain
  • Avalanche types and characteristics
  • Human characteristics
  • Group dynamics

This course provides world-class education through the internationally recognized AIARE curriculum. Please keep in mind, this is NOT a replacement of AIARE Level 1. Avalanche Rescue does not cover the same information. Instead, it should be considered additional avalanche education. Furthermore, AIARE has made the one-day avalanche rescue course a prerequisite for AIARE Pro 1 and AIARE Level 2 courses.

Interested in a Level 1 course? Check out our AIARE 1 Backcountry Couses, our AIARE Level 1 Backcountry FLEX, or our Private Course options.

Andrew Kirchhoff
Andrew Kirchhoff
July 1, 2022.
My teen sons and I had an amazing time rappelling with Bob in Vail! Apex provided everything we needed and accommodated our last minute booking. Thank you Apex!!
June 29, 2022.
Myself and my family had a awesome time repelling. Thanks to Bob we had fun while staying safe. I would recommend for anyone seeking a thrilling experience.
Colin Kirchhoff
Colin Kirchhoff
June 29, 2022.
Bob was a fantastic guide! Despite never repelling before, Bob never failed to make us feel safe and confident enough to have fun. 10/10 experience. Thank you so much!
Beth Ann Rosica
Beth Ann Rosica
June 28, 2022.
We had an amazing day climbing with Bob! We had 4 kids between 13 and 15, and Bob coached all of them to the top! He was patient and encouraging and kept everyone safe! I highly recommend Apex for a climbing experience! The kids are hooked on climbing and loved the adventure!
Jack Saussy
Jack Saussy
June 27, 2022.
My family had a great day climbing with Bob. He was very knowledgeable about the routes and equipment and turned our half day of climbing into a lesson. I plan to get my own shoes and join a gym at home because of this great experience, I highly recommend Apex Mountain School!
Jamie Schmid
Jamie Schmid
February 7, 2022.
We had such a blast ice climbing with our guide Jesse! He was so helpful and motivating and never made us feel like we were terrible at climbing even though it was our first time haha and he was so patient with all my picture taking and getting great shots! Would 1,000% recommend!
Joe Mahoney
Joe Mahoney
January 18, 2022.
Took my AIARE 1 through APEX. It was hard to decide with so many options out there. Look no further, APEX is exactly what you're looking for. I walked away with the exact knowledge I was hoping to get, and more. Josh V was our instructor and is extremely knowledgeable, had great answers to all of our questions and was just great to hang out with in the backcountry. Can't recommend these guys enough.
Shannon M.
Shannon M.
December 6, 2021.
Recently took the Level 1 AIARE Course with Apex and had a great experience. All of the instructors were extremely knowledgeable and passionate about snow safety and answered all questions in great detail to ensure the students learned as much as possible in the 3 day course. It was a very hands on experience and we were even able to do lots of field work despite the low snow conditions right now. Will definitely come back for another course, and looking forward to more backcountry travel with all the new info learned!
kurt albertson
kurt albertson
November 24, 2021.
Apex Mountain School is a wonderful outdoor educational and guide service! Recently took the level one AIARE and Avalanche Rescue course through Apex. Our instructors Andy and Mike were highly professional, knowledgeable and very engaging instructors that were very passionate about snow safety and teaching others about best practices to enjoy their experiences safely in the backcountry. Would highly recommend anyone regardless of experience to take a course with Apex. Looking forward to continuing my outdoor experiences with Apex in the future via additional educational courses as well as the opportunity for private guided trips. Excellent people and a great experience!!!
Tom Watson
Tom Watson
November 23, 2021.
I took the AIARE 1 course with Apex Mountain school and it was truly an amazing experience. Andy was a outstanding instructor, he fostered a culture in the group that encouraged participation, teamwork, learning and fun! The knowledge and tools learned in the course were second to none. We were fortunate to have a small group of 5, and this allowed for a lot of questions, learn by doing, and overall really fun time. I cannot recommend Apex Mountain School enough.
Avalanche Rescue Course