Avalanche Education

Decision making in avalanche terrain.

Interested in furthering your backcountry education? Snowbird Mountain Guides offer avalanche courses that follow the  American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education Curriculum , as standardized by the  American Avalanche Association. Home to unique big mountain experiences and some of the greatest avalanche science pioneers, Little Cottonwood Canyon is the place for your next avalanche course.

This winter, we are excited to announce avalanche gear demos brought to us through our partnership with Mammut. The gear includes Mammut's touring backpack, Barryvox transceiver, avalanche probe and avalanche shovel. Stop by the Snowbird Mountain Guides office to check out the gear and all the other events and offerings that Snowbird Mountain Guides has going on this winter.

Snowbird Mountain Guides

Location
Snowbird Center
Level 3

 

AIARE 1 Course

A 24-hour (3 or 4 day format) introduction to planning and preparing for travel in avalanche terrain. Topics covered include human factors, avalanche terrain recognition, "red flag" observations, communication and decision-making, terrain selection, travel techniques, departure checks & companion rescue skills. Lift ticket included for field sessions if needed.

  • Pricing: $525 *Mammut demo gear included for course.
  • Dates: December 16 - 18 (hybrid*); January 5 - 8 (hybrid*), January 23 - 25 (hybrid*); February 2 - 5 (hybrid*), March 21 - 23 (in-person); April 1 - 3 (hybrid*).
  • Times: 8 am - 5 pm.
  • Location: Snowbird, Little Cottonwood Canyon and Big Cottonwood field locations, conditions dependent.
  • Required Equipment: Touring backpack, transceiver, shovel & probe (Mammut demo included if needed). You will also need to have ski poles, skis or a splitboard with uphill capability and climbing skins cut and fitted for day 1.
  • Prerequisites: Students must be able to travel in backcountry terrain, with an advanced-intermediate level of downhill skiing or snowboarding in off-piste conditions. If you are new to backcountry ski or snowboard gear, please consider taking a Backcountry 101 Course before your AIARE 1.
  • Registration: 801.933.2096 or MountainGuides@Snowbird.com

*Hybrid courses are a mix of online classroom sessions and in-person field days.

Women's AIARE 1 Course

A women's only 24-hour (3 day format) introduction to planning and preparing for travel in avalanche terrain. Topics covered include human factors, avalanche terrain recognition, "red flag" observations, communication and decision-making, terrain selection, travel techniques, departure checks & companion rescue skills. Lift tickets included for field sessions if needed.

  • Pricing: $525 *Mammut demo gear included for course.
  • Dates: December 13 - 15 (in-person).
  • Times: 8 am - 5 pm.
  • Location: Snowbird, Little Cottonwood Canyon and Big Cottonwood field locations, conditions dependent.
  • Required Equipment: Touring backpack, transceiver, shovel & probe (Mammut demo included if needed). You will also need to have ski poles, skis or a splitboard with uphill capability and climbing skins cut and fitted for day 1.
  • Prerequisites: Students must be able to travel in backcountry terrain, with an advanced-intermediate level of downhill skiing or snowboarding in off-piste conditions. If you are new to backcountry ski or snowboard gear, please consider taking a Backcountry 101 Course before your AIARE 1.
  • Registration: 801.933.2096 or MountainGuides@Snowbird.com

Extra AIARE Student Field Day

Looking for one more day out in the field with an AIARE instructor? Have you taken an AIARE course in the last couple of years, but want a refresher? This extra field day gives you the opportunity to put that knowledge to use one more time with a Snowbird Mountain Guides AIARE instructors at your side. You will practice communication and decision-making through the Risk Management Framework, use avalanche and weather forecasts and plan a backcountry tour as a group.

  • Pricing: $175 ($700 total for a 4 day AIARE 1 package) *Mammut demo gear included for course.
  • Dates: To be announced.
  • Friday - Sunday: 8 am - 5 pm.
  • Location: Determined by instructor prior to course. Possible locations included Snowbird and other Little Cottonwood or Big Cottonwood field locations.
  • Required Equipment: Touring backpack, transceiver, shovel & probe and your backcountry ski or splitboard gear.
  • Prerequisites: AIARE 1
  • Registration: 801.933.2096 or MountainGuides@Snowbird.com

AIARE Avalanche Rescue Course

AIARE Avalanche Rescue is an 8 hour course intended to be retaken on a regular basis in order to keep abreast of best practices in rescue techniques and to refresh rescue skills. Participants will expand their skill set with advanced topics in transceiver searches, methodical probing and strategic shoveling through drills and realistic scenario practice. Companion rescue is a last resort, but it's essential to keep these skills fresh in the unfortunate event a backcountry partner needs help.

  • Pricing: $175 *Mammut demo gear included for course.
  • Dates: December 14; January 5, January 21; February 2, February 25
  • Friday - Sunday: 8 am - 5 pm.
  • Location: Determined by instructor prior to course. Possible locations included Snowbird and other Little Cottonwood or Big Cottonwood field locations.
  • Required Equipment: Touring backpack, transceiver, shovel & probe and your backcountry ski or splitboard gear.
  • Prerequisites: AIARE Avalanche is a prerequisite for the AIARE 2 and Pro 1 courses.
  • Registration: 801.933.2096 or MountainGuides@Snowbird.com

AIARE 2 Course

The AIARE 2 is a 24-hour (4 day format) course that provides backcountry travelers an opportunity to advance their decision-making skills in more complex situations. Building on the AIARE Risk Management Framework introduced in the AIARE 1, the AIARE 2 prepares students for being leaders within a small travel group, traveling in more complicated terrain and/or developing a travel plan where resources are scarce.

Students will spend more time making their own snowpack interpretations through snowpit observations and tests, increasing their knowledge of snowpack processes and metamorphism & practicing group management through communication, teamwork and decision-making skills.

  • Pricing: $575 *Mammut demo gear included for course.
  • Dates: January 9 - 12.
  • Monday & Tuesday: Evening zoom sessions.
  • Wednesday & Thursday: Field sessions 8 am - 5 pm.
  • Times: 8 am - 5 pm.
  • Location: Snowbird, Little Cottonwood Canyon and Big Cottonwood field locations, conditions dependent.
  • Required Equipment: Touring backpack, transceiver, shovel & probe (Mammut demo included if needed). Snow study tools are strongly encouraged. This could include a crystal ID card, snow saw, hand lens/loop, snow thermometers, rutschblock cord, inclinometer and compass.
  • Prerequisites: AIARE 1 and Avalanche Rescue Course
  • Registration: 801.933.2096 or MountainGuides@Snowbird.com

Custom Avalanche Instruction

Snowbird Mountain Guides offers custom avalanche instruction for individuals and small private groups during the months of December and April, availability permitting. Standard course offerings are available; AIARE 1, 2 and Avalanche Rescue, in addition to instruction customized to meet the needs and interests of the group. Certified instructors can assist with preparation for an upcoming course, refreshers, standard courses or custom options. Please call, email or stop by the Snowbird Mountain Guides office for more information.

Cancellation Policy

  • Any cancellation made by guest more than 30 days out will receive a full refund. 
  • Cancellations made by guests within 30 days will receive a refund less a $50 processing fee
  • Cancellations made by guests within 7 days are non-refundable.
  • Snowbird reserves the right to cancel any reservation due to conditions beyond our control. If Snowbird cancels for any reason you will have the option to reschedule or receive a full refund.

Avalanche Education

Status
Open
Hours

9 am - 4 pm, Daily
Open for Reservations

Pricing

$175- $575 per person