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Trip

Washington

Ski & Snowboard

Trip Washington AIARE 1 Course
Sorry, this trip is sold out

Questions? Let us help! Call us at 1-866-386-1590
Get the avalanche training you need so you can safely adventure in the backcountry.

Are you a ski­er, snow­board­er, climber or snow­shoer that trav­els in avalanche ter­rain? Avalanche Insti­tute of Research and Edu­ca­tion (AIARE) Recre­ation­al I is an intro­duc­to­ry class with lec­tures and two field days that cov­ers the phe­nom­e­non of avalanche, avalanche ter­rain, deci­sion mak­ing, trav­el tech­niques, human fac­tors, and com­pan­ion res­cue. These cours­es are designed for recre­ation­al­ists look­ing to get out and have the nec­es­sary tools to make informed deci­sions about risk fac­tors, and to be able to ask the right ques­tions before head­ing out. And for those look­ing to up their game, it meets the require­ment for our more advanced back­coun­try ski tours.
 
For pro­fes­sion­als, such as entry lev­el guides and ski-patrollers look­ing for essen­tial skills to keep them­selves, and oth­ers safe in avalanche ter­rain, this is the place to start before jump­ing into pro­fes­sion­al lev­el cours­es such as the Lev­el 2 course.
 
At the end of this course you should be able to: 

  • Plan and pre­pare for trav­el in avalanche terrain
  • Rec­og­nize avalanche terrain
  • Describe a frame­work for mak­ing deci­sions in avalanche terrain
  • Apply effec­tive com­pan­ion rescue

Our high­ly expe­ri­enced instruc­tors have been trained by the Cana­di­an Avalanche Asso­ci­a­tion (CAA), the Amer­i­can Moun­tain Guides Asso­ci­a­tion (AMGA), and the Amer­i­can Insti­tute for Avalanche Research and Edu­ca­tion (AIARE). They are the best, most­ high­ly trained instruc­tors!

Select your date and location (Snoqualmie Pass, Stevens Pass, or Mt Rainier) from the options below


Select Your Trip

Itinerary
Itinerary
Note: Although we do our very best to fol­low the sched­ule list­ed, this itin­er­ary is sub­ject to change due to inclement weath­er, unsafe route con­di­tions, or oth­er rea­sons beyond our con­trol and in the guide’s best judgment.
  • 1
    Day number 1
    THURS­DAY EVENING LECTURE
    6 – 9:30pm, Class will be held online via Zoom

    - Wel­come and Introductions
    - What is AIARE?
    - Course objec­tives, goals, and progression
    - Intro­duc­tion to the AIARE Deci­sion Mak­ing Frame­work (DMF)
    - Case study – small group and class discussion
    - Avalanche Types and Characteristics
    - For­ma­tion of Lay­ers in the Moun­tain Snowpack
    - Avalanche Ter­rain Intro
  • 2
    Day number 2
    FRI­DAY EVENING LECTURE
    6 – 9:30pm, Class will be held online via Zoom

    - Avalanche Dan­ger Scale
    - Obser­va­tions and Clue Gathering
    - Obser­va­tion Checklist
    - The Human Factor
    - Plan­ning and Preparation
    - Avalanche haz­ard forecast
    - Infor­ma­tion gathering
    - Trip Plans
    - Ter­rain Selec­tion and Trav­el Techniques
  • 3
    Day number 3
    FIRST FIELD DAY, SATURDAY
    8:30am – 5pm

    - Equip­ment – bea­con, shov­el, probe
    - Com­pan­ion Res­cue – sin­gle burial
    - Shov­el­ing and Prob­ing techniques
    - Mul­ti­ple burials

    Break

    - Group res­cue scenario
    - Snow­pack – lay­er­ing, basic structure
    - Com­pres­sion Test and Rutschblock Test
    - Obser­va­tion check­list and obvi­ous clues
    - Quick Tour
    - In Lodge: Trip Plans and using the DMF
  • 4
    Day number 4
    SEC­OND FIELD DAY, SUNDAY
    Sun­day, 8:30am – 5pm

    - Full Day Tour
    - Trav­el tech­niques and group management
    - Ter­rain selection
    - Active tests and infor­ma­tion gathering
    - Obser­va­tion checklist
    - Using the DMF
    - Avalanche Course debrief
    - Ques­tion and answer time
    - Course eval­u­a­tions
Trip Package Includes
  • AIARE 1 certification
  • Pro­fes­sion­al guid­ing and instruction
  • Climbing/​backcountry per­mits 
  • 20% off service and 10% off rental at evo Seattle store
  • 20% discount code at evo.com (exclusions apply)
Trip Package Does Not Include
  • Air­fare
  • Trans­porta­tion to and from the trailhead
  • Hotel accom­mo­da­tions
  • Meals
  • Per­son­al gear
  • Guide gra­tu­ities
  • Travel insurance (we recommend World Nomads)

Questions? Call or email us!
Area Information

Washington Cascades


The Washington Cascades are part of the greater Cascade Mountain Range, extending from northern California to British Columbia. To offer flexibility and a diverse range of options to clients, Mountain Madness offers courses in several destinations. Closest and most convenient to Seattle is Snoqualmie Pass, while  Stevens Pass and Mount Rainier go a bit deeper and farther east into the mountains.
 
Trip Planning

Trip Planning

A com­plete cloth­ing and equip­ment list spe­cif­ic to your trip will be sent to you in a pre-depar­ture pack­et upon reg­is­tra­tion. Every year Mountain Madness reviews our lists and assess feed­back from our clients and guides for updat­ing these lists, giv­ing you the most com­plete and up-to-date guide­lines. Feel free to call us if you have ques­tions or need help locat­ing any of the items on the list. For a suc­cess­ful trip, it is extreme­ly impor­tant that you adhere strict­ly to the equip­ment list.

Pri­or to depart­ing on your trip, Mountain Madness staff will con­tact you to dis­cuss the par­tic­u­lars of your course or climb. This typ­i­cal­ly hap­pens about 10 days out. At this time you can review the equip­ment you have select­ed. Before pur­chas­ing any equip­ment, you are wel­come to call us and ask for rec­om­men­da­tions. We know that select­ing the right gear can be a chal­lenge and we are hap­py to help.

If you are interested in rentals, please feel free to contact the evo Seattle store to inquire about items and availability (your package includes 10% off rentals). Equipment can also be rented directly from Mountain Madness.



 
Ski / Snowboard & Avalanche Safety Gear
Ski Clothing
Other Important Items
FAQ
FAQ
  • What is the deposit amount to hold my space?
    The deposit due at time of booking is $300. This includes a $75 non-refund­able reg­is­tra­tion fee. Your balance will be due 60 days prior to your course start date. If you book your trip within 60 days of the course start date, full payment will be due.
  • What COVID-19 policies do you have in place?
    Mountain Madness has a detailed COVID-19 Operations Plan which will be shared prior to the trip. All participants must fill out a pre-trip COVID-19 questionnaire/agreement. Classroom lectures will be held via Zoom instead of in person. In the field, a face covering must be worn at times when social distancing cannot be maintained.
  • Do I need any prior training to participate in this course?
    No previous training is required to take this course.
  • How physically fit do I have to be for this course?
    This can be a physically demanding course, and your abil­i­ty to enjoy the adven­ture depends on your health and fit­ness, thus it’s recommended that you are in good physical condition.
  • Who are the guides?
    Mountain Madness guides are high­ly expe­ri­enced instruc­tors that have been trained by the Cana­di­an Avalanche Asso­ci­a­tion (CAA), the Amer­i­can Moun­tain Guides Asso­ci­a­tion (AMGA), and the Amer­i­can Insti­tute for Avalanche Research and Edu­ca­tion (AIARE). They are the best, most­ high­ly trained instruc­tors!
  • Are rentals available?
    Yes, rental gear is available and can be rented directly through the evo Seattle store, as well as Mountain Madness. Please inquire for pricing.
  • What if I need to cancel?
    evo will refer to the Mountain Madness cancellation policy. If you need to can­cel your trip, please submit your noti­fication in writ­ing. Your trip will be can­celled from the date we receive writ­ten notice. You will be assessed a can­cel­la­tion fee accord­ing to the fol­low­ing schedule: More than 60 days from trip depar­ture — $75 fee reg­is­tra­tion fee. 60 days or less from trip depar­ture – 100% of trip cost
  • What if I need to change the dates of my trip?
    All date changes must be received in writ­ing. There will be a fee of $100 for date changes. Any date change can be dif­fi­cult and is sub­ject to all addi­tion­al incurred expens­es as assessed by Moun­tain Mad­ness. Changes will be made at the sole dis­cre­tion of Moun­tain Mad­ness and may not be pos­si­ble. Date changes are for cred­it only (no refunds) and valid for one year from writ­ten change notification.
  • When and how do I meet up with the group?
    You will receive detailed instructions regarding when and how to meet the group from Mountain Madness.
  • What is the maximum number of guests on the trip?
    There is a maximum of 10 guests for this course. The guest:guide ratio is 5:1, with groups of 10 being split into 2 groups due to COVID.
  • Is there a minimum age required for this trip?
    We will accept par­tic­i­pants 15 years or old­er, if they are accom­pa­nied by a legal guardian. You must be 18 years or old­er to attend a trip on your own.
  • I need accommodations in Seattle. Do you have recommendations?
    Yes, there are plenty of options, depending on your preferences. Near Sea-Tac Airport: Cedarbrook Lodge (4-star), Double Tree Hotel Seatac (4-star), Hampton Inn Seatac (3-star), Hilton Garden Inn Seatac (3-star). Near Mountain Madness: Georgetown Inn (2.5 star), The Grove (2-star).
Testimonials
The experience was awesome--great course, both professional and a lot of fun. Appropriate measures for Covid-19 were put in place.
Evan
Trip Guest
I’ve climbed all over the world with MM and couldn’t recommend them higher. Their guides are world class and are knowledgeable, appropriately cautious but eager to get you to the summit, amiable and yet able to challenge you to do things you didn’t think you could! Their front office is easy to communicate with and keeps you up to speed with everything throughout the whole process from pre-climb to post-climb. If you’re thinking about climbing, I would strongly and without reservation recommend mountain madness.
Andrew
Trip Guest
Jake was an awesome guide, super informative. MM was fantastic, had good options for renting gear, easy to work with.
Kayla
Trip Guest

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