American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education Level 1

Read more about the American Institute for Avalanche Research & Education from the AIARE website


AIARE Level 1 Course

Petra Cliffs Mountaineering School will teach you the basics of avoiding avalanches including route selection, evaluating avalanche potential and rescue procedures. This stand alone course is a must for skiers, snowboarders, climbers & backcountry enthusiasts. The Level 1 Course provides a complete introduction to the avalanche occurrence, avalanche terrain, decision-making, and rescue. It is an ideal first course for those new to travel in avalanche terrain and a great review or upgrade for anyone who has some experience or prior training but feels they need a skills "tune-up." The Level 1 Course is designed to lead into the AIARE Companion Rescue Course and the 3-day Recreational Level 2.

Participants on a Level 1 Course can expect about 10 hours of classroom instruction and about 14 hours of field instruction in the following subjects:

  •     Types of avalanches
  •     Characteristics of avalanches
  •     An introduction to how avalanches form and release
  •     Avalanche terrain
  •     Trip planning and preparation
  •     Travel techniques
  •     Decision making
  •     Avalanche rescue

Stay a day or two

Want more of an opportunity to hone your skills and to ski or ride even more terrain? Our instructor team has added an optional one or two days of additional ski guiding for $195 per day tacked onto the end of the course.  This is a great opportunity for continuing mentorship and to ski the terrain we utilize for the course.


Advanced-intermediate skiing or snowboarding skills and some backcountry experience. Touring equipment is recommended.


Smugglers' Notch, Jeffersonville, VT


January 14-16, 2023

February 11-13, 2023
*Optional additional backcountry ski days available for more descent/mentorship after each course


$525 until October 15, then $540
*Optional additional backcountry ski days $195 per day

Trip Details

Inclusions: Professional ski guide, AIARE materials and all technical Avalanche Equipment (Avalanche beacon, shovel, probe)

Exclusions: Personal gear, food, water and clothing, Alpine touring/telemark/split boarding equipment, skins, ski crampons*. (see equipment list for what to bring)

*Alpine Touring Skis or Splitboards with touring bindings and skins are available for demo for $40per day

What's Next? Where do I go from here?

AIARE Level 2 Three Day Rec Course