Professional Development Courses

The American Institute for Research and Education (AIARE) has chosen Silverton Avalanche School to host the AIARE 3 and ITC courses this year. These courses are for avalanche practitioners, professional guides, patrollers, forecasters, control specialists, advanced recreational backcountry travelers, as well as Forest Service, National Park Service and other land management personnel seeking professional training and development. Silverton is an ideal training venue, providing unprecedented access to avalanche paths well-known for its unique snowpack, complex terrain, and variable stability.

See below for more information. To sign up, visit the AIARE website by clicking here.

AIARE 1 Instructor Training: January 9th-13th, 2017

The Instructor Training Course (ITC) offers a professional development opportunity for instructors to hone teaching and presentation skills by learning from their peers. Educators will discuss and practice how to successfully teach decision making and risk management strategies, including planning for travel in avalanche terrain, incorporating relevant observations, building a team, choosing appropriate terrain and traveling wisely.

By the end of the course educators will learn how to properly check for student comprehension and understanding of avalanche hazards, efficacy of risk treatment, equipment needs, emergency response plan, and communication in the field. More information can be found here.

AIARE 3: February 19th – 25th, 2017

The Advanced Avalanche Training for Professionals and Recreational Leaders is an advanced certification course providing participants with an industry based framework to make decisions in avalanche terrain, to manage avalanche hazards common to avalanche control operations, and winter guiding scenarios. Participants are required to form opinions, to take on leadership roles, assist in the process of forecasting avalanche hazard and making appropriate terrain choices. The AIARE 3 takes the “trained observer and technician” and begins the process of making the information relevant to the complexities, variability, and influences of terrain. Individuals who receive a passing grade and successfully complete the course receive a certificate provided by the AIARE administration. More information can be found here.

Avalanche Mapping

This course teaches avalanche professionals what GIS can do and how they can apply the technology to understanding and monitoring avalanches. Students will build digital maps, explore and analyze the data behind the maps, and learn easy methods to share maps and analyze the results.

By the end of the course students will have a solid understanding of how GIS maps and ArcGIS tools are used to visualize real-world features, discover patterns, obtain information, and communicate that information to others in the context of avalanches.  Historically, avalanche professionals have used a wide range of tools to cobble together systems that don’t always work that well.  To learn more, visit our Avalanche Mapping page.

Mountain Weather Workshop 

The Colorado Avalanche Information Center (CAIC) and the Silverton Avalanche School are offering a three day workshop on Mountain Meteorology. Morning sessions will provide a basic understanding of meteorological principles applied to weather in mountainous areas. Afternoon sessions will focus on using publicly available weather information to create a local forecast. Participants will interact with experienced weather forecasters and work in small groups to generate and present their own forecasts. The workshop is designed for avalanche practitioners and avid recreationalists. Anyone interested in mountain weather phenomena is welcome and no previous meteorological education is required. Participants are encouraged to bring their own laptop computer with wireless capability for the small group exercises. We will not be holding the Workshop this year. Check back 2017/2018 season.