Self Paced Pre-Course Learning + 1 Webinar & 2 Field Days




  • Vail Pass (from Camp Hale)
  • Summit County (Spring Creek, Tiger Road, Deer Creek)
  • Buena Vista (East Cottonwood Pass)
  • Crested Butte (Kebler Pass*, Taylor Park / West Cottonwood Pass)
  • Lake City (Slumgullion Pass)
Selecting a Course Location
“OPEN” Courses: If a course is listed as “OPEN,” participants can choose the course location from the list below. Simply include course location(s) in order notes.


Course Location Selected: A course that has a specified location behind the date (i.e February 12 – Vail Pass) has already had a specific location selected.

*Kebler Pass is only available to member’s of the Gunnison County SnoTrackers. Contact us for membership details. 


How to Register

1.) Choose a date (and location if the date is still showing “Open”) from the drop down menu.


2.) Pay for the course (in-full) using Apple Pay or by using the cart. Once payment is received you will receive a “You’re In” confirmation email. Curious about our cancellation policies? Check them out here.


3.) Within 48 hours of paying for the course, you will receive an additional email with access to a google classroom that has been created specifically for your course. Once logged into the google classroom, start by completing the registration form, and reviewing MMS’s waiver and cancellation policy. 

  • Recognize avalanche terrain and understand safe motorized travel protocols.
  • Apply the current avalanche bulletin in tour planning and travel.
  • Interpret snow conditions and weather on different aspects and elevations in relation to slope stability
  • Apply simple decision tools in avalanche terrain.
  • Conduct a mock companion recovery and understand basic group management.
This course will cover the following topics: 
– Avalanche Types and Anatomy
– Basic Slab Mechanics

– Terrain

  • Terrain evaluation and route selection.
  • Travel protocols & group communication -ie. one at a time, don’t help stuck partner on slope, manner in which one parks, preloading communication, hand signals, etc…
  • High marking guidelines.
– Snowpack and Weather
  • Mountain snowpack development leading to instability or stability.
  • Field observations, tests and judging instability.
  • Perform safe slope cuts to identify instability.
  • Use of avalanche & snow pit tools: inclinometer, compass, probe, saw.
  • Introduce elementary pits with hand hardness profiles, basic grain type symbols and stability tests. Expose to recording field notes.
  • Avalanche & snow climates.
– Decision-Support Tools
  • Human factors and the need for systematic decision tools.
  • Application & limitations of decision tools.
  • Avalanche bulletins.
– Rescue
  • Companion rescue including scene size up, organization, beacon use, probing, shoveling.
  • Recovery of victims not wearing beacons.
  • Common mistakes in avalanche rescue.
  • Single and multiple beacon search techniques.
  • Role of first aid and emergency response in real avalanche rescues.

This course blends a combination of self-paced online learning with a digital meet-up and 2 days in the field to meet AIARE’s course outcomes.

  • Average 6-8 hours of self-paced online learning
  • One 2-hour pre-course zoom (usually the Tuesday before your course, check in google classroom)
  • Two field days (typically from 8a to 4p)


Sections & Learning Tools

Google Classroom:

Once you have paid for your course, you’ll receive access to a google classroom. This classroom is where you’ll have access to the AIARE Online portion of the course as well as a number of other important resources throughout the course including all course logistics.



AIARE Online Learning:
On average, the online portion of the course takes students about 6 hours to complete. We encourage students to not wait until the last minute to complete this portion of the course as it covers many important topics. Breaking the online learning down into smaller chunks will help make the course a rewarding and enjoyable experience. We have made a recommendation on how to do this in the google classroom. Since many of the online topics are fundamental to the field sections, completion of the online learning prior to the first field day is mandatory.



Your course includes a pre-course zoom. This time will be used for introductions, to review course logistics, and to review course topics as well as answer any questions that may come up during the online learning.



Field Days:
The first field day is “lead” by the instructor(s) and the time is used to learn how to conduct solid departure checks, evaluate terrain, make observations, utilize safe travel protocols, and practice companion rescue. On the second field day, students combine everything they have learned to develop and “lead” their own tour. The instructor(s) will “follow”, while occasionally pausing the group to help refine their skills and take advantage of teachable moments.



AM Meetings:

Each morning before going into the field, students will participate in a professional AM Hazard Analysis & Ride Plan. AM meeting locations are typically decided by the instructor and are often held at local coffee shops, power sports retail shops, or trailheads (weather dependent).


Day 2 Debrief:
The final course debrief wraps up the course and may occur in the field or at a nearby establishment.