Decision Making in Avalanche Terrain

The AIARE 1 is a three-day / 24-hour introduction to avalanche hazard management.

Students can expect to develop a good grounding in how to prepare for and carry out a backcountry 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).
 
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IMPORTANT BETA

LODGING INCLUDED*

2 nights at The Bunkhouse at Northeast Mountaineering

*As space permits. Requires additional online reservation at The Bunkhouse.

COURSE DETAILS

Length: 3 Days [24 Hours]
Guide-to-Client: 2:12
Price: $360 per person

2017-2018 DATES

December 15-17
December 29-31
NEW: January 5-7
January 13-15
January 19-21
January 26-28
February 9-11
February 16-18
NEW: March 3-5

RENTAL GEAR

For this course, you will need an Avalanche Beacon, Probe and Shovel. These items may be rented for $50.

Most of the required equipment is available for rent from our affiliate mtnGEAR. AIARE Participants will receive an exclusive discount of 50% beacon, probe and shovel and an additional 20% discount on all rental equipment and clothing.

AIARE 1 COURSE OBJECTIVES

The AIARE 1 is for anyone, regardless of method of travel, who wants to recreate in or near avalanche terrain. Participants may have attended some awareness classes or workshops or completed the Avalanche Rescue course, but none are a prerequisite for this course. Aspiring professionals will need to take the AIARE 1 and Avalanche Rescue as a prerequisite for the Pro 1 course.

Learning Outcomes

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
    • Types and characteristics of avalanches
    • Avalanche motion
    • Size classification
    • The mountain snowpack: an introduction to metamorphism and layering
  2. Observations and Information Gathering
    • Field observation techniques
    • Snowpack tests: rutschblock, compression test
    • Avalanche danger factors or “Red Flags”
    • Observation checklist
    • Avalanche danger scale
  3. Trip Planning and Preparation
    • Avalanche terrain recognition, assessment, and selection
    • Route finding and travel techniques
    • Decision making and Human Factors
  4. Companion Rescue and Equipment

 

Course Itinerary

SKIING, RIDING OR SNOWSHOEING

For this course we will be accessing the backcountry. If you own a touring setup or split board you are welcome to skin with the instructor and consequently ski or ride out at the end of the day. Please bring your own AT or Split Board setups as we do not have these available for rent. If you do not ski or ride, please plan to snowshoe - which can be rented from mtnGEAR.

DAY 1

8:00: Meet at Classroom (location TBD)


8:00-9:00: Introductions, Ice Breaker, Agenda, Course Goals, Logistics


9:00-10:00: Decision Making, Case Study


10:00-10:50: Avalanche Types & Character


10 minute break


11:00-12:00: Avalanche Terrain


12:00-12:45: Lunch Break


12:45-1:30: Companion Rescue, Indoor


1:30-4:30: Field Session, Trailhead Function Checks, Companion Rescue


4:30-5:00: Logistics for Day 2, Homework Assignments


 

DAY 2

8:00-8:30: Review of Day 1 Homework


8:30-9:30: Formation of Layers in the Mountain Snowpack


9:30-10:30: Field Observation Techniques and Recording


10 minute break


10:40-11:5:0 Planning and Prep (demo Trip Plan, Communication Checklist)


12:30-1:00: Travel Wisely


1:00-4:30: Field Session (location TBD), Range Checks, Observational Outing


4:30-5:00: Review Obs, Logistics for Day 3, map preview, homework assignments


 

DAY 3

8:00-4:00: Meet at Pinkham Notch Visitor Center, Morning Trip Planning Session, Tour


4:00-5:00: Review the tour, debrief the course, course close
 

GENERAL POLICIES

NEMs Adventure plans and itineraries are subject to change or adjustment based on a number of factors. These include, but are not limited to, route conditions, weather, terrain, and many other factors. NEM has complete discretion to change plans to accommodate any of these or other factors, including discretion to change program schedule or itinerary, and change guides or staff, as necessary for the proper and safe conduct of the program.

We reserve the right to cancel any program due to inadequate signups, weather or route conditions. In such a case, an NEM credit for the full value is given; however, NEM cannot be responsible for any additional expenses incurred in preparing for the program (i.e., airline tickets, equipment purchase or rental, hotel reservations).

NEM reserves the right to dismiss the Participant from a trip at any time if NEM determines, in its sole discretion, that the Participant is not physically, technically, or psychologically prepared for or capable of participating in the program. This includes being under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.

SUMMIT ATTEMPT

Northeast Mountaineering cannot guarantee that you will reach the summit. Weather, route conditions, your own abilities or the abilities of others may create circumstances that make an ascent unsafe, and you or your entire party will have to turn around without reaching the summit. Your program fee entitles you to one summit attempt on your specified dates.

MINIMUM REGISTRATION REQUIREMENTS

For our adventures to run as booked, we must have 50% enrollment of the maximum participant allotment. As an example, if the program has a maximum of 8 people then we must have 4 registered participants for the adventure. In the case of low registration, you may be asked to postpone or join another group on a different date. Exceptions may be made but it is at complete discretion of Northeast Mountaineering, its guides and agents.

RISK MANAGEMENT

Safety is NEM’s number one priority. Our guides manage significant hazards inherent in the mountains such as avalanches, ice fall, rock fall, inclement weather, and high winds, but they cannot eliminate them. NEM guides draw from their wealth of experience and training to make sound decisions that maximize your experience without compromising the necessary margin of safety. Please clearly understand that mountaineering and all other mountain adventures are inherently hazardous sports. You are choosing to engage in an activity in which participants have been injured and killed. While those accidents are indeed infrequent, they may occur at any time and be out of our control. We ask that participants acknowledge the risk and hazards of these sports, and make their own choices about whether or not to engage in these activities.

DOMESTIC ADVENTURES

Payment in full is due at the time of booking. Cancellations outside of 7 days are fully refundable except for a $50 service fee. There will be no refunds for cancellations made less than 7 days before your program. Unfortunately, due to the time-sensitive nature of our business, and the difficulty in re-booking a trip close to departure, we cannot make exceptions to this policy. Payments may be made via MasterCard, Visa, American Express, or check.

BEYOND NEW ENGLAND INCLUDING MOUNT RAINIER

A non-refundable deposit of $750 per person secures your reservation but may vary - please check the individual pages. Payments may be made via MasterCard, Visa, American Express, or check. Final payment is due 1 month [30 days] before departure - but may vary. For your convenience, we can work out a monthly payment plan.

INTERNATIONAL ADVENTURES

A non-refundable deposit of $500 per person secures your reservation but may vary - please check the individual pages. Payments may be made via MasterCard, Visa, American Express, or check. Final payment is due 1 month [30 days] before departure - but may vary. For your convenience, we can work out a monthly payment plan.

CANCELLATION

There will be no refunds for cancellations made less than 7 days before your program. Unfortunately, due to the time-sensitive nature of our business, and the difficulty in re-booking a trip close to departure, we cannot make exceptions to this policy.

CHANGE OF DATE

Date changes are subject to availability and apply only to the current climbing season. Date changes may be requested at anytime up to 7 days prior to your departure date for a $25 fee per person. Date changes may be requested at anytime up to 3 days prior to your departure date for a $50 fee per person. There are no date changes allowed less than 2 days before departure.