Avalanche Level 1 COURSES (AIAre 1)

See available AIARE 1 Courses

All avalanche courses conducted by Never Summer Outdoor School are qualified by the American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education (AIARE). AIARE trains and qualifies instructors and course providers using the latest in technology, research and avalanche industry practices to give participants the most recent, relevant experience to stay safe in avalanche terrain. 

The AIARE 1 is a 24 hour introduction to avalanche hazard management.

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).

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. 

Student learning outcomes

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.

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

1. Introduction to the Avalanche Phenomena

2. Observations and Information Gathering

3. Trip Planning and Preparation

4. Companion Rescue and Equipment

Prerequisites :

Students must be able to travel up to 4 miles per day on snow in and out of avalanche terrain.

Required equipment for all avalanche courses will be sent before courses to participants. 

See available AIARE 1 courses. 

Avalanche Level 2 (AIARE 2)

The AIARE 2 is a three-day/24-hour course that provides backcountry travelers an opportunity to advance their decision making skills in more complicated situations such as being a leader within a small travel group, traveling in more complicated terrain, and/or developing a travel plan where resources are scarce.

The AIARE 2 builds on the introductory avalanche hazard management model introduced in the AIARE 1 and adds to it the evaluation of critical hazard assessment factors. Students will describe and discuss weather, snowpack and avalanche processes, and identify how these processes relate to observations and travel within avalanche terrain.

Who Should Take this Course

Student Learning OutcomesThe AIARE 2 is a three-day course for those who have taken an AIARE 1 and Avalanche Rescue and have had at least a year of backcountry travel experience. The AIARE 2 provides backcountry leaders the opportunity to advance their avalanche knowledge and decision making skills.

  • Differentiate where specific avalanche hazards exist within the landscape and identify avalanche terrain where consequences may be more severe.

  • Use and interpret weather, snow, and avalanche observations to locate appropriate terrain prior to entering and while in the field.

  • Demonstrate leadership skills within a small team that include facilitating small group discussion, promoting appropriate terrain selection, and utilizing simple risk management strategies.

  • Implement a basic forecasting framework that can be used in conjunction with and in the absences of local supporting avalanche information.


  • Participants must have the ability to travel in avalanche terrain.

  • An AIARE 1 Course (strongly recommended) or equivalent Level 1 training is required.

  • A winter of practical experience after the Level 1 course is required before taking the AIARE 2 course.

  • AIARE or AAA approved one-day Avalanche Rescue Course.

Wilderness first Aid

Empowering recreationists to recover from unintended situations with skills from administering first aid, communication possibilities and extrication to trailheads. Winter-based scenarios for backcountry skiers, snowshoers, splitboarders and other winter recreationists. 

These courses are either 8-hour or 16-hour courses that will fulfill requirements for Wilderness First Aid (WFA), through Emergency Care and Safety Institute (ECSI). 

The course will include mixed classroom instruction and scenarios.

No prerequisites. 

See available courses.  

Avalanche REscue (AIARE)

AIARE Avalanche Rescue is a one-day stand alone course that is intended to be retaken on a regular basis in order to keep abreast of best practices in rescue techniques and gear. New participants will learn the basics of companion rescue, while returning participants will expand their skill set with advanced topics and realistic scenario practice to help improve their skills.

Each participant will have the opportunity to receive professional coaching on their rescue skills, and will receive a rescue card acknowledging the completion date.

AIARE Avalanche Rescue is a prerequisite for the AIARE 2 and Pro 1 courses. It is recommended that all backcountry travelers keep their skills current by taking an Avalanche Rescue course and receiving a rescue card at least every other year.

The course will include 8 hours of mixed classroom instruction and rescue scenarios.

No prerequisites.

See available courses.  

Avalanche Awareness

This is the perfect place to get started with understanding the dangers of winter backcountry travel, or to remind veterans of preparing for another safe season. Short awareness clinics happen in town at local retailers as well as day-long sessions early season in the field.

Contact us or checkout our Facebook page for upcoming Awareness opportunities.