April 1 2019

The American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education, since 1998, has been at the forefront of snow safety education and training. While there are competing ideologies, it is safe to say that the AIARE approach is the most recognized and respected in the US. Last month my cousin Trent and I took both the Avalanche Rescue (through Colorado Wilderness Rides and Guides) and Level 1 (through Colorado Mountain School) courses in the recreational tract. Ultimately we spent six hours in a class room and three full days in the field practicing the techniques we were taught. Having taken both courses in relatively rapid succession, I highly recommend following said approach. While there is some overlap, each teaches a unique set of skills that are imperative to safe backcountry travel.

Everett Phillips of CMS teaching us how to perform snow pit compression tests.

Descending through the “Terrain Park” on the way back to the Bear Lake trailhead.