Recreational Level 1 at Wolf Creek: January 24th-26th, 2020


Our AIARE Recreational  Level 1 Avalanche Program will teach you the key elements of making sound decisions while traveling in the avalanche terrain that surrounds Wolf Creek Pass. The 3-day course effectively combines classroom time and field sessions to provide a comprehensive overview of avalanche hazard recognition and evaluation.

Cost and Logistics:

Course is 3 days, 8am-5pm daily

  • Dates: Friday, January 24th – Sunday, January 26th, 2020
  • Cost: $450 per person
  • Cost Includes: Level 1 Avalanche Course Manual, AIARE Waterproof Field Book, and AIARE Level 1 certificate upon successful completion of the course.
  • Not Included: Lodging, Food, and Transportation. 
  • Venue:  Wolf Creek Pass |  Based in Pagosa Springs   (Please be aware that this class is not being held in Silverton.) 
  • Cancellation Policy:   A $35.00 fee is charged for course date transfers. 60% of the course cost can be refunded up to 30 days prior to the course start.  No refunds are provided for cancellations made less than 30 days prior to the start of the course for which you are registered. Unfortunately we cannot give refunds, rainchecks or cancellations if the pass into Wolf Creek is closed.

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Decision Making in Avalanche Terrain

This intensive, hands-on training will cover trip planning and preparation, interpretation of the avalanche bulletin, observational techniques for snowpack, weather, and avalanches, terrain analysis, safe travel techniques, and decision-making fundamentals. Students will also learn the elements of companion avalanche rescue and practice using realistic scenarios.  It is geared toward skiers, boarders, and other outdoor enthusiasts who want to build winter backcountry skills. This course is a nationally recognized Recreational Avalanche Level 1 Course.

Course Details

Morning sessions introduce avalanche concepts to students. Afternoon field sessions in backcountry terrain provide hands-on experience and ensure quality field time with our top-notch staff. Each day students travel into the Wolf Creek backcountry terrain in small groups with instructors. 

These experiential sessions examine topics discussed in the classroom. All students will be able to practice companion rescue, route finding and terrain analysis, dig snowpits, and conduct stability tests. Unlike many avalanche courses, Silverton Avalanche School students gain practical training in the wild backcountry rather than a ski area.

Students receive valuable input, instant feedback, and vital insight from our instructors who are responsible for mitigating avalanche hazard in Class A avalanche terrain filled with one of the most dangerous snowpacks on earth, where avalanche hazard assessment and reduction is an everyday job. Instructors will help students acquire and enhance the critical skills, perceptual cues, and knowledge needed to make better decisions with greater accuracy and success.

Please note this class is NOT being held in Silverton. Field days will be held at Wolf Creek Pass, renowned for it’s abundant snowfall. Classroom Sessions will be taught in Pagosa Springs, Colorado.

On each field day expect to travel in the backcountry at 11,000. Wolf Creek Pass provides the perfect environment to learn about avalanches, with easy access to large and small avalanche paths and terrain which can be observed safely. 

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