AIARE Avalanche Rescue Course - Winter 2023-24 

AIARE Avalanche Rescue Course
AIARE Avalanche Rescue Course

Winter 2023-24 Dates:
  • Closed for season so we can go sailing with our kids!

Cost: $195


  • Stevens Pass
  • Snoqualmie Pass
  • Mission Ridge

Ready to Sign up?

Client to Guide Ratio: Up to 6 to 1

Related Courses:
AIARE Level 1
AIARE Level 2
Intro to Alpine Touring
Intermediate Alpine Touring

AIARE Avalanche Rescue Course 2
AIARE Avalanche Rescue Course 3
AIARE Avalanche Rescue Course 4
AIARE Avalanche Rescue Course 5
AIARE Avalanche Rescue Course 6

AIARE Avalanche Rescue Course 

AIARE Avalanche Rescue is a one-day stand alone course that is intended to be retaken on a regular basis in order to stay current with best practices in avalanche rescue techniques and equipment. The course is suitable for both new and return participants as each course will cover both the current thinking for basic companion rescue as well as more advanced scenarios. All students will be shown systems for additional practice on their own in between courses.

Each participant will receive a rescue card at the end of the course and will be given individual professional coaching.

AIARE recommends that all backcountry users take this course at least every other year in order to maintain a current skill set and to continuously expose yourself to the latest techniques in avalanche rescue.

It is important to note that the avalanche rescue components previously taught on an AIARE Level 1 course have been deemphasized in order to provide more field time for developing the decision making skills that prevent backcountry users from being caught in avalanches. In order to adequately support the new version of the AIARE Level 2 we will be offering AIARE Avalanche Rescue Courses on the day before all of our AIARE Level 2 courses as well as at additional times throughout the season.

Student Learning Outcomes 

  • At the end of the Avalanche Rescue Course the student should be able to:
  1. Describe what to do if they or a member of their party is caught in an avalanche
  2. Identify and be able to use gear necessary for avalanche rescue.
  3. Set up a realistic scenario in order to practice an avalanche rescue response.
  4. Improve their response skills and times during and after the course with feedback from instructors and peers.
  5. Develop a plan for continued practice.

All participants will work intensively with our AIARE instructors to during realistic, timed scenarios. At the conclusion of each scenario you will be given detailed feedback on how to improve your technique and tips on how you can continue to train on your own time throughout the season.

If you have previously taken an AIARE 1 or an Avalanche Rescue Course this is an opportunity to refresh your skills and more importantly be exposed to the latest thinking, techniques, and equipment used for avalanche rescue. As guides and instructors we train in these techniques several times per season and the course was developed out of a realization that most backcountry users take a course, but then do not train as often as is needed to maintain proficiency.

Who should take this course? 

This is a 1-day course aimed at both new and experienced winter backcountry users and aspiring snow professionals.

Prerequisites for Avalanche Rescue Course 

  • Appropriate equipment for traveling in a snowy winter backcountry environment.
  • Sufficient physical fitness to move about on appropriate equipment.

Sample Itinerary 

May be adapted for course area, weather, or equipment type:

8:00 AM: Meet at Stevens Pass, Snoqualmie Pass, or Mission Ridge and go over the equipment we will use for the day. Guides will distribute and fit any rental equipment required of participants
8:30 AM: Brief review of relevant avalanche risks and forecasts for the area where we will be training for the day and formulation of rescue plan.
8:45-9:15 AM: Travel to training area
9:15-10:00 AM: Review of basic beacon functions, conduct function and range tests.
10:00-11:00 AM: Demonstration of simple rescue scenario with single person burials followed by practice in small groups.
11:00-11:30 AM: Rescue Digging demonstation and practice.
11:30-Noon: Lunch and discussion of more complex scenarios.
Noon-2:00 PM: Demonstration of multiple person burials techniques and practice in small groups.
2:00-3:00 PM: Final Group rescue drills with group debrief.
3:00-3:30 PM: Return travel from training area.
3:30-4:00 PM: Course close and rescue card distribution.

Custom Programs 

If you have a group of 2 to 12 people we can often put together a custom date. Weekends tend to fill quickly and we often do not have sufficient staff to conduct custom programs on weekends, but we can generally put together off-weekend custom programs for your group. Past groups include search & rescue personnel, military groups, climbing clubs, youth groups, and groups of friends that travel in the backcountry together. The cost for custom programs is based on the number of people that register, with the final cost approaching our set-date cost if you have at least 5-6 people. Best to just give us a call at 509-548-5823 to discuss your custom program.

This program takes place on US Forest Service lands under a commercial-outfitter and guide permit. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination in all its programs & activities and is an equal opportunity provider and employer.