Avalanche Level 1 (AIARE) Decision Making In Avalanche Terrain: Puget Sound

Winter, Adventure

Description: The AIARE Avalanche Level 1 - Decision Making in Avalanche Terrain Class is a 3 day/24 hour introduction to avalanche hazard management. The course is expected to: Provide a basic understanding of avalanches, describe a framework for decision making and risk management in avalanche terrain, focus on identifying the right questions, rather than on providing "answers", an give lessons and exercises that are practically oriented, useful, and applicable in the field. Students can expect to develop a good grounding in how to prepare for and carry out a 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). A final debrief includes a knowledge quiz to test student comprehension and to give feedback to instructors on instructional tools. Students are encouraged and counseled on how to apply the skills learned and told that no course can fully guarantee safety, either during or after course completion. Prerequisites: Students must be able to travel in avalanche terrain. During the field day on the last day of the programs we will spend the full day in the backcountry. For this section students will need appropriate alpine touring (AT), telemark, split board, or snowshoe equipment.

Skills you'll learn:

  • At the end of the Level One 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

Check out the gear list.

Required Legal Form:
This course requires the participant to read and sign a liability release form before participating. Please see "Required Legal Form" for the session you are registering for. You will need to print, sign and bring the form to your class.

More Partner Information:

Avalanche Level 1 (AIARE) Decision Making In Avalanche Terrain: Puget Sound Information

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  • Class Details
  • Gear List

Avalanche Level 1 (AIARE) Decision Making In Avalanche Terrain: Puget Sound Gear List

Gear to bring to class:


  • Warm Gloves
  • Rain Gear - Waterproof/resistant jacket, pants and hat.
  • alpine touring (AT), telemark, split board, or snowshoe equipment
  • Energy Snacks
  • Insulated/Waterproof Boots - Suitable for snowshoeing.
  • Daypack - Day pack large enough to carry water, food and layers.
  • Warm Jacket - Down or Synthetic.
  • Warm Socks - Wool or Synthetic.
  • Water Bottle
  • Sun Protection - Lip balm, sunscreen, wide-brim hats, etc.
  • Synthetic / wool layers - Clothing that will stay warm when wet.
  • Warm Hat
  • Lunch & Snacks


  • Hydration Compatible Day Pack - 1000-2000 cubic inches with 70-100 oz water bladder
  • Eyewear Retainer - A strap to help keep your glasses or sunglasses from falling off in the event of big splash or a capsize.
  • Gaiters
  • Sunglasses
  • Extra Warm Synthetic Clothing
  • Lip Balm/Protection
  • Ski Goggles

Gear provided by REI:

  • Group First Aid Kit
  • Avalanche Beacon / Transceiver
  • Snow Shovel
  • Avalanche Probe