AIARE Private Courses

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Promote your well-being in a backcountry skiing environment by expanding your knowledge and skill set through formal avalanche education with our AIARE Private Courses. The American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education (AIARE) provides world-class education through the only internationally recognized curriculum offered in the U.S.


In our 3 day, 24 hour AIARE level 1 private course, our curriculum focuses on the following:

    • The characteristics and types of avalanches
    • Movement of avalanches
    • Classifications by size and danger scale
    • Mountain snowpack: metamorphism and layering


    • Trip planning and preparation
    • Risk management and decision-making
    • Human influence in:
      • group dynamics
      • decision-making
      • accidents


Following classroom sessions, we will travel by backcountry ski, splitboard and snowshoe, and apply these learned foundations in a mountain snow environment, with a focus on:

    • Beacon and probe use
    • Identifying and evaluating avalanche terrain
    • Route-finding and travel techniques
    • Snow pit and snow layer analysis and tests
    • What questions to ask in risk evaluation
    • Identifying “red flags”
    • Avalanche rescue and beacon search techniques


    •  Reinforcement of Level 1 fundamentals
    • Snow profiles, surface condition analysis, and the formation of snowpack over time
    • Theory and observation of skier-triggered slides
    • Forecasting, avalanche observation and recording guidelines per U.S. and International guidelines
    • Small group travel and decision making


Following classroom sessions, we will travel by backcountry ski or splitboard to apply learned skills in a mountain environment, with a focus on:

    • Analysis of snow stability
    • Route selection and terrain analysis
    • Slope tests
    • Reinforcement of level 1 probe and shovel techniques, as well as rescue techniques for single and multiple burials.


Participants 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 in potentially inclement weather. Registration is required. Some personal items are provided by the participant; see the “to bring” tab.

  • For the Level 1 Course, see our gear and equipment list on the bottom of our AIARE Level 1 page.
  • Or, for the Level 2 Course, see the bottom of our AIARE Level 2 page for a gear and equipment list.

Advanced reservations are required. Register below on the accompanying calendar or call (970) 949-9111.

Level 1 Courses

Level 2 Courses

Had an awesome time with the fun, knowledgeable staff at Apex! I completed the AIARE – Level 1 course here, and based off my experience, I would definitely recommend taking a guided trip with these guys, no matter the discipline. The staff always had positive attitudes and was super informed. I would love to continue picking their brains to learn more. Will definitely be taking the Level 2 course here.

Tim R