AIARE 1 Avalanche Course: Rocky Mountain National Park

Location Colorado

Season Winter

Difficulty Easy - Moderate

Duration 3 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 jumpstart your learning. We designed our avalanche courses to give you tools to make real decisions in avalanche terrain.

In our AIARE avalanche courses we’ve taken it to the next level by providing students with an ideal learning environment for avalanche education.  This 3 day course has a perfect balance of classroom and field time.

Anyone who travels in the backcountry needs to continue their education every year. An AIARE 1  or avalanche rescue course is a great place to start or review if you’re feeling rusty. An AIARE 2 course is best for skiers and snowboarders comfortable with their skills and looking for the next step. Along with our AIARE Courses, we offer a number of clinics and opportunities that get you into the mountains!

Season Winter

Minimum Age 18

Trip Planner


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. Day one is spent in the classroom in Boulder while 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.

AIARE Level I Avalanche Course: Price: $450 Per Person


November 29 – December 1

December 13 – 15

December 27 – 29

December 31 – January 2


January 3 – 5

January 10 – 12

February 15 – 17

April 3 – 5

April 17 – 19

Students are responsible for their own lodging in Estes Park.

Please see the attached travel and accommodations document.







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. If you’re new to Backcountry Touring, consider participating in one of our Backcountry Basics Ski Days prior to your course. 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) is available for rent from The Mountain Guides Colorado. Please call ahead for availability.

Conditions can be favorable for climbing at nearly any point during the year, but for most objectives, better climbing conditions occur in spring, summer, and autumn. Spring has a higher likelihood of precipitation. Summer afternoon temperatures can climb into the 90’s and isolated afternoon thunderstorms are common. In the autumn, climbers tend to find the most reliable conditions. Winter has many spells of great climbing weather, but it is difficult to plan in advance, as the Front Range can also receive full Rocky Mountain snowstorms and cold fronts. Because cliffs are dramatically affected by sun and wind exposure (or lack thereof), please refer to your JHMG guide for route or area recommendations. Suggestions are to provide our guests with the most enjoyable experience.

During summer months, even if the day dawns clear, all climbers should pack a rain jacket for the occasional surprise afternoon thundershower. Synthetic clothing is strongly advised at many times of the year, and is almost always preferable to  cotton. Comfort levels can vary quite a bit depending on where you are climbing within a given climbing area, so please ask us for our clothing recommendations based on your planned climb/class and if you are unfamiliar with the area. It is common for us to suggest an early start to avoid afternoon thunderstorms.

Shop for this stuff 






  • 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)




  • 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

Trip Sponsors

Try before you buy!!! If you are coming to take a class and don't have avalanche safety equipment, no problem. Our partnership with Mammut means you can try out the best in avalanche safety equipment while taking your class FOR NO CHARGE! All we ask is that you repay this generosity by submitting a review of the equipment and your experience with it. Maybe submit a photo of you using your Mammut beacon, shove, probe, airbag!

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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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