Avalanche Level 1 CertificationWe are pleased to offer you the opportunity to learn how to travel safely in Colorado's winter snowpack. Our AIARE Level I Avalanche Safety course will enable you enjoy our mountain winter wonderland with confidence.
We will examine the factors that contribute to avalanche hazard, analyze snowpack stability, learn terrain analysis and route finding strategies and practice companion rescue techniques including the use of avalanche beacons. The course consists of an evening classroom session at in the Boulder and Denver metro area and two full days of on-snow instruction in Rocky Mountain National Park. Please see our course outline for a detailed description of course activities.
The field sessions of this course can be managed on snowshoes, alpine touring skis, telemark skis or split boards. Cross country or light touring ski equipment is inadequate for the course because it does not provide sufficient control for the terrain and snow conditions we encounter and the footwear is not warm enough. Please, note that if you plan to use snowshoes, it is imperative that you wear some sort of double boot such as a "Sorel" type pac boot, plastic double ski boot or snowboard boot. Even if you routinely snowshoe in hiking boots, they won't be warm enough for the class. Your feet need warm boots when we are digging snow pits and practicing with beacons, these activities are not strenuous enough to generate sufficient body heat for inadequate boots.
What is Level One Avalanche Certification and who should take it?
Every backcountry traveler that spends time in the mountains during the winter should take this Level One Avalanche Certification Class. This class will expose winter dangers and train the student on how to identify these dangers, ways to mitigate the dangers, ways to avoid the danger and possible save someone that has been hit by an avalanche. The Level One Certification Class title is an accepted title worldwide for the level of training that you will receive. This training is required before you can participate on some backcountry trips/tours. The American Avalanche Association is the national organization that provides the guide lines for these snow safety courses. The American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education, AIARE is an organization dedicated to providing the course curriculum for this snow saftey course. All of our AIARE instructors are professionals experienced in the backcountry and trained in snow safety. This course is one of the best in the country and upon completion of this course, you should be able to take a Level II course anywhere in the world. On rare occasions, an elitist instructor/company offering level II/III courses think their class is the only legitimate course and want to charge you for another level I course. We apologize in advance for these people and recommend you find another course provider. Technically, Level I Certification is really a certificate of completion, as there is not a test you have to pass to be "Certified". We have taught this class to thousands of backcountry enthusiasts since 1985 and many have gone on to higher levels of certification.
(Rocky Mountain National Park also has an entrance fee).
The class fee includes a field book and gear if needed (beacon, probe, shovel, snow shoes and poles). The instructors will ask if anyone needs gear at the classroom session on Friday. There is not a discount for those of you that use your own gear.
1st night classroom from 6-10pm, 2+3rd day 8am meeting at Rocky Mountain National Park for your field training. (Park fees are extra) Saturday and Sunday are mixed days of field work and classroom sessions in beautiful Rocky Mountain National Park and Estes Park. Field work occurs outside and in any weather conditions so come prepared for anything that Mother Nature might have in store for us.
Dates for classes: (To sign up online, click on the date of your choice.)
Dec 19 - Dec 21, 2014
Jan 09 - Jan 11, 2015
Feb 06 - Feb 08, 2015
Mar 06 - Mar 08, 2015
Mar 13 - Mar 15, 2015
On snow class location: in Rocky Mountain National Park.
The on snow portion of this class will start at 8:00am and meet at the Rocky Mountain Conservancy, 1895 Fall River Road, Estes Park, Colorado 80517. Please use Googlemaps for directions to Rocky Mountain Conservancy
What to Bring:
Please see our Winter Backcountry Gear list. You can take this class on Snowshoes, AT skis, or good backcountry Touring/Tele Skis. You must be able to travel up and down hill across the snow. Avalanche Beacon, Probe, and Shovel are required for this class. While we recommend you own this gear, if you do not own this gear, we will provide it for you. We have all of the Winter Avalanche Safety Gear for purchase.
Cancellations 5 days or more before your class dates are refundable less a 10% reservation fee. You can reschedule your class (subject to availability) without any penalties if you notify Renaissance Adventure Guides 5 days prior to your class date. With-in 5 days of your class date, your funds are committed and are non-refundable.