With some of the most stunning terrain in North America, Rocky Mountain National Park offers 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.
In our Rocky Mountain National Park AIARE courses we’ve taken it to the next level by providing students with an ideal learning environment for avalanche education. This 3 day AIARE Level 1 Course has a perfect balance of class time, with a focus on field instruction and practice.
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. 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
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.
- Top Long Sleeve Synthetic: medium to expedition weight long underwear Guide Pick: Mountain Hardwear Butterman 1/2 zip
- Soft Shell or Fleece Jacket Guide Pick: Mountain Hardwear 32 Degree Jacket
- Shell Jacket with hood. Guide Pick: Mountain Hardwear Cloudseeker Jacket
- Puffy Jacket: Hood Recommended. Guide Pick: Mountain Hardwear Ghostwhisperer Jacket
- Bottom Synthetic or Wool Long Underwear Bottoms Guide Pick: Mountain Hardwear Butterman Tight
- Shell Pant: full side zips and built-in gaiters Guide Pick: Mountain Hardwear Highball Pant
- Socks: Synthetic or wool. Sized for your boots and blister protection. Liners recommended.
HEAD AND HANDS
- Gloves 3 pair: 1 light, 1 medium, 1 heavy pair Guide Pick: Mountain Hardwear Cyclone GTX Glove
- Hat: medium weight ski hat
- Hat: baseball or visor for sun
- Buff/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
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 Barryvox S
- Shovel Guide Pick: Mammut Alugator Twist shove
- Probe Guide Pick: Mammut Fastlock Probe 240
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!
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.