AIARE Avalanche 1 Course WA • 14,410' • 4392m
Seminar Details Dates and Prices

Covid-19 Notice for 2021 Rainier Programs

While we are certainly planning for several eventualities, our working plan for 2021 will be based on the assumption that Covid-19 is still prevalent. We will move forward under similar protocols implemented during 2020, and plan to run all Rainier programs in 2021 with the exception of the Little Tahoma Seminar. There are some notable changes to the way we've traditionally ran our programs as listed below:

  • We will not be providing meals on our climbs in 2021. We hope this changes so we can get back to serving our world-famous Camp Muir Burritos! Please see our food suggestions page for additional details.
  • We plan on providing transportation from IMG HQ to/from the trailhead. However, this may not be feasible under Covid-19 protocols. We're working on alternative options and will keep all registered climbers updated on any changes to this plan.
  • We will provide single tents to all climbers unless you are members of the same household wishing to share a tent.
  • We will require a cloth facemask during the first ½ day orientation and in IMG vehicles.

Naturally people will want to know our 2021 Covid-19 cancellation policy. For 2021, funds from any National Park Service, WA State mandated or IMG directed Covid-19 related cancelled programs, will be to carried over to the same program and same or closest date in 2022. Short of an NPS, WA State or IMG directed cancellation, our no refund policy remains in place. Note that if your 2020 program was rescheduled by IMG, and is rescheduled again in 2021 due to Covid-19, you will have the option to carry your funds over to 2022, or be issued a refund.

Additionally, we will defer accepting reservations for pre-climb tent lodging at IMG Headquarters until April 1, 2021, when we will have more current information on the status of COVID and any impact it may have on operations for the season.

As is the case with all things Covid-19, we will remain as flexible, communicative and as transparent as possible in these unprecedented times.

AIARE Avalanche Level 1 Course
(Crystal Mountain Ski Resort or Mt. Rainier National Park)

There are few things like experiencing the mountains during the winter. The beauty, the majesty, the solitude, the vastness. To safely experience the mountains during the winter we need specific skills. Whether we are backcountry skiing/snowboarding, snowshoeing, or climbing our ability to assess avalanche hazard and travel in avalanche terrain is paramount to our safety and success in reaching our objectives. Join IMG's team of certified avalanche educators who work as avalanche professionals throughout the United States to learn and hone your avalanche skills.

IMG is proud to present avalanche education curriculum from the American Institute of Avalanche Research and Education (AIARE). This curriculum meets and exceeds all guidelines put forth by the American Avalanche Association's Education Committee for a Recreational Avalanche Level 1 course.

Course Content

Our Avalanche Level 1 course is titled: Decision Making in Avalanche Terrain. During this 24 hour course, we will focus on developing the skills needed to safely enjoy the mountains during the winter. Whether you are new to exploring the mountains during the winter or want to freshen up on your snow and avalanche skills, you'll find topics covered in this course tailored to the backcountry recreationist.

Topics include:

  • Avalanche Types and Character
  • Identifying Avalanche Terrain
  • Understanding the Basics of the Mountain Snowpack
  • Reading and Understanding Local Avalanche Forecast
  • Developing a Tour Plan
  • Decision Making in Avalanche Terrain
  • Making and Understanding Snowpack Observations
  • Fundamentals of Avalanche Rescue

Learning Objectives

By the end of the course you will be able to:

  • Develop a Plan for Traveling in Avalanche Terrain
  • Demonstrate the Ability to Identify Avalanche Terrain
  • Effectively Use a Decision Making Framework to Make Terrain Choices in a Group Setting
  • Demonstrate Effective Companion Rescue
  • Be qualified (in conjunction with AIARE Avalanche Rescue Course) to participate in AIARE Rec 2 or AIARE Pro 1

Perfect Venues

We all know that learning about Avalanche Rescue needs to take place in the mountains. IMG wants to maximize our learning time in the field. Depending on the program date, we'll begin each field day at IMG's headquarters in Ashford, WA or at the Crystal Mountain ski resort base area, then travel to the Paradise area on the south side of Mt Rainier, or into the Crystal Mountain Backcountry for our field sessions.

NOTE: Specific meetup locations and times will be disseminated in pre-course contact.

Lowest Instructor to Student Ratio

IMG has always focused on providing the best experience and learning environment for its students. Our avalanche courses will be taught at a 1:5 Instructor to Student ratio. Such a low ratio allows more instructor-student interaction, allows more opportunities for students to lead in a group environment, and provide a more personalized educational experience.

Training and Fitness

To learn more about training for this course, please read our Training Suggestions for Mt. Rainier.

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