AIARE 1 Avalanche Course: Whitefish, MT

Location Montana

Season Winter

Difficulty Easy - Moderate

Duration 2-3 Days

Overview

Located in the beautiful Flathead Valley and beyond, The Mountain Guides Montana offers avalanche courses and skills clinics to help you begin and refine your avalanche safety and backcountry knowledge.   Our goal is to help you become a safer, more competent back country adventurer.  In our AIARE courses we’ve taken it to the next level by providing students with ideal learning environments to suit their personal learning styles.  We offer a 2-day hybrid online/in-person AIARE 1 programs in Whitefish, 3-day in person programs based out of Blacktail Mountain Resort and emersion learning yurt-based courses in partnership with Downing Mountain Lodge and Great Northern Powder Guides.

 

Whitefish Yurt-based Avalanche Courses from The Mountain Guides on Vimeo.

We highly encourage every backcountry user to take a Level 1 or 2 AIARE Avalanche Education Course and to follow up with yearly practice, so you enjoy a long lifetime of rewarding backcountry experiences. Along with our AIARE Courses, we offer a number of clinics and opportunities that get you into the mountains to put your back country skills to work!

Season Winter

Minimum Age 18

Trip Planner

Itinerary

Our emersion learning based AIARE Level 1 Courses are designed for people looking to build a foundation for safe Backcountry travel. This comprehensive 3-day course focuses on hazard evaluation, decision-making and companion rescue in avalanche terrain. These courses include proper instruction for basic safety and protocols for safe backcountry travel. Over the 3-days you will learn the skills and tools needed to navigate the winter mountains and evaluate the snowpack when traveling through avalanche terrain.

The course begins at 8 am at Great Northern Powder Guides. From there, you’ll ride in the snowcat up to the yurts. You can expect to return to GNPG base by 5 PM on the third day.

Our in-person AIARE Level 1 Courses are designed for people looking to build a foundation for safe Backcountry travel but might not be ready to navigate more challenging terrain as a skier or a snowboarder. This comprehensive 3-day course focuses on hazard evaluation, decision-making and companion rescue in avalanche terrain. These courses include proper instruction for basic safety and protocols for safe backcountry travel. Over the 3-days you will learn the skills and tools needed to navigate the winter mountains and evaluate the snowpack when traveling through avalanche terrain.

The course begins at noon at Blacktail Mountain Resort, located 14 miles West of Lakeside. The following days’ classes will be held there as well from 9am – 5pm.

Our emersion learning based AIARE Level 1 Courses are designed for people looking to build a foundation for safe Backcountry travel. This comprehensive 3-day course focuses on hazard evaluation, decision-making and companion rescue in avalanche terrain. These courses include proper instruction for basic safety and protocols for safe backcountry travel. Over the 3-days you will learn the skills and tools needed to navigate the winter mountains and evaluate the snowpack when traveling through avalanche terrain.

The course begins at 8 am at the Downing Mountain Lodge trailhead outside of Hamilton, Montana.  From there, you’ll skin 1.5 miles and 700 vertical climb into the lodge from the trailhead with all of your own personal equipment and a portion of group food.  You can expect to return to the trailhead by 5 PM on the third day.

Our hybrid online/in-person AIARE Level 1 Courses are designed for people looking to build a foundation for safe Backcountry travel who need a more flexible timeline that can fit into a weekend format.  This comprehensive course consists of 5 hours of self guided learning, a 3 hour evening session and 2 days in the field.  The curriculum focuses on hazard evaluation, decision-making and companion rescue in avalanche terrain. These courses include proper instruction for basic safety and protocols for safe backcountry travel. Throughout the course you will learn the skills and tools needed to navigate the winter mountains and evaluate the snowpack when traveling through avalanche terrain.

The course begins at 6PM for the 3 hour evening session and then meets at the base lodge ticket window at Whitefish Mountain Resort at 800 AM on both days. Students can expect to be back to the base lodge by 430 and done by 530 PM on both days.

CLICK HERE for a course outline.

Classroom and Hybrid AIARE Level I Avalanche Courses:

$495 / person

Emersion Yurt-based AIARE 1 Avalanche Courses:

$750 / person.  Price includes dinner, breakfast and hot drinks at the yurts as well as transportation via snowcat from the Great Northern Powder Guides’ base area to the yurts. Students are responsible for their own transportation to and from Great Northern Powder Guides which is located 23 miles north of Whitefish.

 

 

 

CLICK HERE to see current availability for courses at Blacktail Mountain Resort.

CLICK HERE to see current availability for yurt-based courses at Great Northern Powder Guides.

CLICK HERE to see current availability for yurt-based courses at Downing Mountain Lodge.

CLICK HERE  to see current availability for Hybrid courses in Flathead National Forest

 

Shop for this stuff 

UPPER LAYERS

BOTTOM LAYERS

HEAD AND HANDS

ACCESSORIES

  • Back Pack: 30 to 40 Liter ski pack, Guide Pick: Mammut Pro Short Removable Airbag System Backpack
  • Water & Food: Thermos or insulated water bottles are best. Lot’s of snacks.
  • Sunglasses/ Sunglass Case
  • Ski Goggles
  • Extra Prescription Glasses/Contact Lens
  • Sunscreen/Lip balm
  • Headlamp-Extra batteries
  • Laptop Computer — for Avalanche Courses only

SKI/SNOWBOARD EQUIPMENT FOR THE BACKCOUNTRY (Packages available for rent at JHMG)

  • Boots: Alpine Touring, Telemark, or Snowboarding Boots
  • Skis or Splitboard with compatible binding for boots
  • Climbing Skins (fit to skis)
  • Ski Poles
  • Helmet (optional)

SNOW SAFETY EQUIPMENT (REQUIRED and available for rent at JHMG)

 

 

Courses at Blacktail Ski Area take place near Lakeside, MT. Students are responsible for their own lodging, transportation and meals during the course.

GNPG base area is 23 miles North of Whitefish:

Yurt-based courses take place at the Great Norther Powder Guide’s backcountry facility or at Downing Mountain Lodge near Hamilton, Mt. Lodging and meals at the facility are included in the price.  At Great Northern Powder Guides, we also provide a snow cat ride to and from the Yurt.  Students are responsible for their own transportation to the yurt locations as well as their own lunch and snackfood for three touring days..

Whitefish AIARE 1 course field sessions utilize the Canyon Creek area near Whitefish Mountain Resort.  We will be meeting at the base lodge ticket window at 8AM for each field day.  Each participant will need an uphill pass for the resort for these courses.

Downing Mountain Lodge is located twenty minutes from Hamilton, MT. Hamilton is a 3.5 hour drive from Whitefish and 1 hour drive from Missoula. 1017 Grubstake rd. Hamilton. Mt. 59840 is the physical address found on mapping programs.

 

Because of Mountain Guides Montana’s location in beautiful Flathead Valley and proximity to Glacier National Park our venues for teaching are one of a kind. Flights come into Glacier International Airport (FCA) and Missoula (MSO) daily. Amtrak arrives in Whitefish once per day.

Testimonials

  • JHMG knows there stuff! My instructors provided a wealth of knowledge for us to learn from and an awesome attitude that kept everyone stoked.

    — John Howland
  • Knowledgable instructors and in a setting that inspires.  I learned a lot during my course and look forward to putting my new knowledge to use exploring on snow in the Tetons and beyond.

    — Ben Weaver
  • Very professional! Excellent instructors with a wealth of knowledge and most importantly, they know how to facilitate growth of one’s mountain sense.

    — Clinton Culp

Trip Sponsors

As the signature sponsor of our Avalanche Safety Courses, all students enrolled will be able to test and demo Mammut avalanche safety equipment during the course at no charge. In exchange, participants provide five photos of the gear in use as well as a review of the gear OR a post on social media tagging @jhmtnguides and @mammutna.

Talk To Us

Here you’ll find online tools and information about joining us for a trip of a lifetime! To sign up for a trip, or if you have any questions, please call us. Listed on the left side of these pages are links that you may find useful, including printable forms and policies concerning a trip with JHMG. We encourage ALL prospective climbers to read our Preparation advice. Our office can help place you with others who are looking to climb.

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