AIARE 1 Avalanche Course: Rocky Mountain National Park

Location Colorado

Season Winter

Difficulty Easy - Moderate

Duration Pre-course Online Learning and Two Field Days


With the most stunning terrain in North America, Rocky Mountain National Park offers a lifetime of opportunities to ski and snowboard. Learning to negotiate the backcountry takes years of practice. An AIARE 1 Avalanche Course with The Mountain Guides Colorado can jump start your learning. We designed our avalanche courses to give you the tools to make real decisions in avalanche terrain.


Course Description

Our AIARE 1 is a 1 evening online/2 field days introduction to avalanche hazard management.

Students can expect to develop a good grounding in how to prepare for and carry out a backcountry trip, to understand basic decision making while in the field, and to learn rescue techniques required to find and dig up a buried person (if an avalanche occurs and someone in the party is caught).

Who Should Take this Course

The AIARE 1 is for anyone, regardless of method of travel, who wants to recreate in or near avalanche terrain. Participants may have attended some awareness classes or workshops or completed the Avalanche Rescue course, but none are a prerequisite for this course.

Student Learning Outcomes

At the end of the AIARE 1 course, the student should be able to:

  • Develop a plan for travel in avalanche terrain.
  • Demonstrate the ability to identify avalanche terrain.
  • Effectively use The AIARE Risk Management Framework to make terrain choices in a group setting.
  • Demonstrate effective companion rescue.


Students must be able to travel in avalanche terrain and bring appropriate equipment for traveling on snow to class. There are no other prerequisites. If you have limited time using your ski touring equipment, we HIGHLY RECOMMEND you take one of our Intro to Backcountry Ski and Splitboard Touring classes. This 1 day class will teach you the basics of how to use your AT gear, move efficiently, and create a fundamental baseline of knowledge in order for you to maximize your time in the AIARE 1 Course. An AIARE Avalanche Rescue Course is also highly recommended, either soon before or after an AIARE 1 Course.

Season Winter

Minimum Age 18

Trip Planner


All AIARE 1 courses at our Rocky Mountain location utilize a hybrid learning model. The course starts as soon as you enroll with an online learning module. Then you’ll meet with your instructor via an evening video chat session two days before the course starts. If the field days start Saturday, you would meet with your instructor Thursday evening to review the online learning, discuss the current avalanche hazard forecast and plan the tours for the field days.

AIARE 1 Schedule (subject to change)

Day 1 Online Evening

5:30 – 6:30 Introduction

6:30 – 7:30 Reading the Avalanche Bulletin

7:30 – 8:30 Tour Planning

Day 2 – Meet at Field Venue (TBD)

8:00 – 8:30 Departure Check, Beacon Range and Function

8:30 – 11:30 Avalanche Rescue, Beacon and Probe Use, Strategic Shoveling

11:30 – 2:30 Monitor Conditions, Weather and Snow Observations, Snowpit Tests

2:30 – 3:30 Return from Field

3:30 – 4:00 Debrief

Day 3 – Meet at Field Venue (TBD)

8:00 – 8:30 Review

8:30 – 3:30 Ride Safely Participant Led Tour

3:30 – 4:00 Debrief + Course Close

$595 per person

The Mountain Guides does not provide transportation for its clients into the park. Clients will be responsible for paying the $35 vehicle fee at the park entrance unless they have a Golden Eagle Pass  or equivalent .

CLICK HERE to see current availability and sign up for a course!


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SKI/SNOWBOARD EQUIPMENT FOR THE BACKCOUNTRY (Packages available for rent at Jackson location ONLY)

  • 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)



Students are responsible for their own lodging in Estes Park.

The Mountain Guides does not provide transportation for its clients into the park. Clients will be responsible for paying the $35 vehicle fee at the park entrance unless they have a Golden Eagle Pass  or equivalent .








  • I learned so much in my AIARE1 course with TMG. The course work was appropriate and the days in the field really reinforced the material and helped us cultivate our decision making in the backcountry. The guides did a great job helping provide us with context around different scenarios that may unfold and this helped make our backcountry journey more meaningful. Overall, this was a very successful learning environment and TMG's are a fantastic organization to take the AIARE1 through.

  • Michael and Woody are true experts and exceptional teachers. They delivered the course content in an extremely engaging manner and made sure that the overall experience was fun and memorable. It always makes a noticeable difference when you can tell your teachers are well versed in their craft, have put an immense amount of work into making sure their course is both engaging and educational, and care about their students - Michael and Woody did all of those things to the utmost.

    — Aaron Segura Landis
  • Max Lurie was a great guide, and I’ve had lots of guides over the years. Laid-back but very competent and thoughtful. Never arrogant or condescending, he encouraged us to think things through and offered lots of tips and scenarios for decision making. Great guide.

    — Scott Greiner
  • My experience in the AIARE 1 class was fantastic. Michael and Woody were extremely professional and despite some weather issues causing the national park to close, they were able to improvise and still give us the best class possible.

    — Clay Hansen
  • 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
  • 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

Community Partners

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 it 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 TMG. We encourage ALL prospective climbers to read our Preparation advice. Our office can help place you with others who are looking to climb.

By Phone 970-233-3236

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