SkiNASTC: North American Ski Training Center | AIARE Avalanche Safety Course
AIARE avalanche safety class. How to be prepared for your backcountry skiing adventure: skiing safety protocols, avalanche transceiver use, rescue techniques, avalanche hazard awareness and management.
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AIARE Avalanche Safety Course

AIARE Avalanche Safety – Level I

identifying the different parts of an avalanche

AIARE Certified Avalanche Safety Level I Course

Dates: January 13-15, 2017 and February 18-20, 2017
Skier or Rider Level: 6-9 (strong intermediate to expert)
Price: $395 (Additional $30 for materials, this includes handbook, field book and AIARE member fees.)

Each year more skiers are venturing into the backcountry lured by the opening up of resort boundary lines and the promise of pristine powder fields and underpopulated terrain.  However, with more access the risk has never been greater, and the need to know basic safety protocols, rescue techniques, avalanche hazard awareness and management are essential to survival and having a great time out there.

Photo by Sidestream Photography

Photo by Sidestream Photography

The AIARE curriculum is a 3-day intensive seminar is designed to give you: an understanding of avalanche formation, “nature’s billboard” observation skills, the ability to use an avalanche transceiver and probe and how to dig a snow study pit.  This is a minimum amount of know-how if you want to travel, ski or ride in the backcountry or sidecountry safely.  There is time spent daily in the classroom and in the field.

The goals of the course are as follows:

  • The student will be taught safe travel methods in avalanche terrain
  • The student be will shown how to use various rescue equipment
  • The student will be taught and execute mock rescues in the field
  • The student will be introduced to the avalanche triangle, weather, snowpack, terrain and the human factor

altWe will meet at 8:00am at The Cedar House Sport Hotel (Truckee, CA). We will begin promptly with an indoor orientation and classroom work.  Please be on time. Day 1 & 2 we will be in the classroom until lunch with our afternoons in field.  Day 3 we will spend 1-hr in the classroom and the rest of the day in field.  Our schedule will include indoor talks and outdoor fieldwork each day – be sure to dress in layers.  You will have a chance to change into warmer clothes for the field session.  The course runs 8:00am – 5:00pm each day with a break for lunch.  We suggest a bag lunch with snacks and plenty of water.

We are looking forward to learning and skiing with you and know you will enjoy yourself with NASTC.  We will send you an updated itinerary as we get closer to the start of the course.  This schedule may change slightly based on the group, weather, etc.  Below are equipment and clothing lists.  If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call the NASTC office.

Directions to The Cedar House Sport Hotel:
From Tahoe City: Take 89 into Truckee, Turn right at the first light after Squaw Valley onto West River Rd. Continue straight to the end of West River Rd.  Make a right onto Brockway Rd.  Go up hill and through the stop light.  About ¼ mi past the 7-Eleven you will see the entrance to the Cedar House Sport Hotel on your right.  Please tell the front desk that you are with the NASTC group.Sacramento:   Take I-80 East past Truckee and then take the exit to the Hwy 267 by-pass (exit 188B) in the direction of Lake Tahoe South. At the ramp traffic light turn right and proceed over the bridge. At the next traffic light, turn right on Brockway – we are about 1/2 mile on the left handside.  Please tell the front desk that you are with the NASTC group.

Reno: Take I-80 West. Before you get to Truckee take the exit to the Hwy 267 by-pass in the direction of Lake Tahoe South. At the ramp traffic light turn left and proceed under I-80 and then over the bridge. At the next traffic light, turn right on Brockway – we are about 1/2 mile on the left handside.

Recommended reading before the course:
Snow Sense: by Jill Fredston and Doug Fesler
Staying Alive in Avalanche Terrain: by Bruce Tremper
Avalanche Aware: by John Moynier

Level I Equipment List to help you pack:
Climbing skins
Alpine Touring or Telemark skis or a splitboard
AT or Telemark boots or snowboard boots                                                                                                                                                                        Adjustable ski poles
Avalanche transceiver, shovel, and probe
Water bottle
Small first aid kit (moleskin, bandaids, aspirin, personal meds.)
Note book & pen for note-taking
Ski/snowboard socks
Top and bottom insulating layer
Midlayer top
Fleece layer
Ski/snowboard pants
Ski/snowboard jacket
Light touring gloves (heavy liners etc.)
Ski/snowboard gloves
Warm hat and baseball cap for sun protection
Goggles and sunglasses

Call The Tahoe Sports Hub ski shop in Truckee for a NASTC rental discount (530-582-4510) or Granite Chief if you need to reserve or purchase equipment.
**PLEASE NOTE OUR CANCELLATION POLICY**: If you have to cancel for any reason (including medical), we require written notice in our office 14 days in advance of the first day of the course.  With 14 days or more notice we can refund your payment minus 10% for administrative costs.  Once we are within 14 days of the first day of the trip, we unfortunately cannot refund any portion of your payment even in the event of sudden illness or injury to you or your family.  We recommend that you buy trip cancellation insurance (available through your travel or insurance agency) in case you get sick or injured (please stay healthy!!) before or during the trip, and baggage insurance (check your Homeowner’s policy or consult your travel or insurance agency) for your ski gear and clothes.