With some of the best backcountry terrain in North America, the Tetons offer a lifetime of opportunity to ski and snowboard in one of the most spectacular places on earth. Learning to negotiate the backcountry takes years of dedication and practice; Jackson Hole Mountain Guides offers avalanche courses and clinics to help you begin and refine your avalanche safety knowledge and make you a safer, more competent back country adventurer.
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!
For information on Level 2 AIARE Avalanche Education, click here.
Minimum Age 18
Our 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. One full field day is devoted to slope evaluation, route finding, and risk management. 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.
For a complete class schedule and a copy of the Level 1 Class Outline Please CLICK HERE
AIARE Level I Avalanche Course: Price: $425
*Please inquire about our 2017/2018 winter dates*
Grand Teton National Park is located roughly 30 minutes from our Jackson, WY headquarters. Our Jackson office is located in the south part of Jackson at 1325 S. Highway 89, Suite 104 and shares a parking area with Smith’s. Our phone number is (800) 239-7642 or (307) 733-4979. Most trips and classes will meet at this office for gear checks, preparation, and classes. The Jackson Hole airport is the closest, but Idaho Falls (a 2 – 2.5 hour drive) is a cheaper option and Salt Lake City (4 – 5 hour drive) are also air travel options. It is helpful to arrive a couple of days prior to your trip/class in order to acclimatize. Otherwise, you should arrive the day before and stop by our office for an equipment check. Do not plan on traveling the day after a significant climb – you will be tired and there are no guaranteed times when we will return to the trailhead. Plan on having accommodations for the night prior to and the night you return from a significant climb. There are a plethora of hotels, motels, and bed and breakfasts in Jackson and the surrounding area. Accommodations near our office make your transitions convenient. It is highly advisable to make reservations as early as possible. Lodging recommendations and many more details can be found in the downloadable document below.
Prerequisites for touring during our Avalanche Courses: For the field component of these courses, you must have appropriate alpine touring (AT), telemark or split-board equipment. All touring gear is available for rent from JHMG. You DO NOT need to be an advanced skier or boarder, but you should be able to ascend moderate slopes using skins and descend downhill effectively in a variety of snow conditions. Other required gear (pack, transceiver, probe, shovel) is available for rent from JHMG. Please call ahead for availability. Or rent it when you book!
Sitting on the eastern edge of the Great Basin, the north-south-trending Tetons rise dramatically from the floor of Jackson Hole without any foothills along an active fault-block mountain front system. Because it forms one of the first tall barriers to moisture sweeping eastward from the Pacific Ocean, much of the range’s precipitation falls as snow during winter and spring, but summers and fall are generally dry and pleasant, with the always-present possibility of thunderstorms.
The local climate is semi-arid with a yearly extreme high of 93 °F and extreme low of -46 °F. The coldest temperature ever recorded in Grand Teton National Park was -63 °F, and snow often blankets the landscape from early November to late April. Jackson Hole has long, cold winters. The first heavy snows fall by the beginning of November and continue through March. Snow and frost are possible during any month. By May and June, mild days and cool nights alternate with rain and occasional snow. Valley trails are snow covered until late May. Warm days and cool nights prevail during July and August, with afternoon thundershowers common. In autumn, sunny days and cold nights alternate with rain and occasional snow storms.
- Top Long Sleeve Synthetic or Wool: medium to expedition weight long underwear
- Puffy Jacket: synthetic light weight down
- Soft Shell or Fleece Jacket
- Shell Jacket with hood. Guide Pick: Mountain Hardwear Alchemy Jacket
- Insulated Jacket– Hood Recommended. Guide Pick: Mountain Hardwear Super Compressor Hooded
- Bottom Synthetic or Wool Long Underwear Bottoms
- Shell Pant: full side zips and built-in gaiters
- Socks: (1 to 2 pairs) synthetic or wool. Sized for your boots and blister protection. Liners recommended.
HEAD AND HANDS
- Gloves 2 to 3 pair: 1 medium, 1 heavy pair
- Hat: medium weight ski hat
- Hat: baseball or visor for sun
- Balacava/neck gaiter
- 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
- First Aid: minimal-blister kit
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)
- Transceiver Guide Pick:Mammut Element Barryvox
- Shovel Guide Pick: Mammut Alugator Twist shove
- Probe Guide Pick: Mammut Fastlock Probe 240
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.