Seattle: Kaf Adventures and Snoqualmie Pass.Portland: The Mountain Shop and Mt. Hood.
Location
3 Days
Duration
Indoor, Outdoor
Setting
Intermediate
Skill Level

Traveling in a winter environment has inherent risk. Snow conditions dramatically change throughout the winter, affecting snow stability. The ability to recognize avalanche terrain and have a decision making frame work to travel in avalanche terrain is critical to your safety. This AIARE Level 1 avalanche course is designed to give students a basic understanding of why avalanches occur and to develop a framework for making decisions while traveling in avalanche terrain. Additionally, the course provides instruction in beacon use and companion rescue should an avalanche occur.

AGES 18+ for adult courses or 16+ with consent from a guardian and Kaf approval.
12-18 for youth courses.
PREREQUISITES The Level 1 Avalanche course is a stand alone course. Some backcountry snow travel is highly recommended.
WHAT YOU WILL LEARN Describe a basic framework for making decisions in avalanche terrain
Plan and prepare for travel in avalanche terrain
Identify avalanche terrain
Learn and apply effective companion rescue
INCLUDED 24 hours of professional instruction
AIARE Level 1 curriculum handouts to add to their home library
An AIARE field book
A group snow study kit
NOT INCLUDED Winter travel equipment
Transportation
Lunch
Personal layers
Personal avalanche safety gear: beacon, probe, and shovel
EQUIPMENT

You will need to provide one of the following snow travel tools:

Snowshoes with waterproof boots (we recommend insulated boots)
Skis, boots, and bindings (Metal edge skis, plastic boots, and Randonee/alpine touring/downhill Telemark bindings)
Please note: Cross-country skis will not work for backcountry tours.
Splitboard with adjustable bindings that move into “tour” mode efficiently (Soft boots are ok, and hard boots are preferred)

Additional equipment needed:

Personal avalanche safety gear: beacon, probe, and shovel.
Personal layers
RENTALS We offer full-service rentals. If you need any gear, please visit our rental page.
TRANSPORTATION & TIMES Transportation and times will be coordinated by email when the pre-trip announcement is sent to all registrants.
WHAT’S NEXT Consider joining a Skiing/Splitboarding: Intermediate course to spend more time with a professional instructor in the field.

Book Online
CUSTOM COURSES We can create any custom course you would like, in any of our disciplines: Rock Climbing, Mountaineering, Backpacking, Ice Climbing, Yoga + Wilderness, and Winter Recreation. If you don’t see a date or time that works for you, contact us, and we’ll arrange something. You can find our custom rates here.

 

Day 1: Lecture day in town at Kaf Adventures (Seattle) or The Mountain Shop (Portland) 9am – 5pm
This full day lecture involves instructor and group introductions, followed by and overview of avalanche types and characteristics. We will introduce case studies to analyze avalanche incidents. Course progression includes:

Introduction to the Avalanche Phenomena:
Types and characteristics of avalanches
Avalanche motion
Size classification
The mountain snowpack: an introduction to metamorphism and layering

Trip Planning and Preparation:
Avalanche terrain recognition, assessment, and selection
Route finding and travel techniques
Decision making and Human Factors

Day 2 – Meet at Kaf Adventures (Seattle) or The Mountain Shop (Portland) 7am – 6pm
This day will involve a combination of indoor and outdoor training. The day will start with a discussion of weather observations and how to use a daily avalanche bulletin to assess risk. After the initial discussion we will travel to Snoqualmie Pass and get outside to introduce beacons and companion rescue. The day ends with a route planning session as we prepare for our final day, a full day in the mountains.

Day 3: Meets at the Kaf Headquarters at 7am – 6pm
The day will start with a discussion of weather observations and how to use a daily avalanche bulletin to assess risk. We will then carpool to Snoqualmie Pass to travel into the back country. During the day we focus on appropriate travel techniques, features of the snowpack, and terrain identification. We end the day with a mock rescue scenario and debrief.

Kaf AIARE Level 1 courses will be available in both the Seattle and Portland areas.

Seattle Location:

Kaf Adventures and Snoqualmie Pass, WA (Subject to change)

Portland Location:

The Mountain Shop and Mt. Hood, OR (Subject to change)

Seattle:

Portland:

Washington:
15-17 December
23-25 February

Oregon:
27-29 January – COURSE IS FULL
16-18 February – COURSE IS FULL

Book Online
CUSTOM COURSES We can create any custom course you would like, in any of our disciplines: Rock Climbing, Mountaineering, Backpacking, Ice Climbing, Yoga + Wilderness, and Winter Recreation. If you don’t see a date or time that works for you, contact us, and we’ll arrange something. You can find our custom rates here.

We are really excited to head out there with you!

Book Online
CUSTOM COURSES We can create any custom course you would like, in any of our disciplines: Rock Climbing, Mountaineering, Backpacking, Ice Climbing, Yoga + Wilderness, and Winter Recreation. If you don’t see a date or time that works for you, contact us, and we’ll arrange something. You can find our custom rates here.

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