Acadia Mountain Guides Climbing School

Avalanche Education

 American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education


 
Yes, avalanches do happen in New England and each year a number of backcountry enthusiasts are injured or killed in New England from avalanches. Take your mountain knowledge to a level that helps you and your group stay safe in the backcountry. Take an AIARE avalanche course through Acadia Mountain Guides Climbing School!
 
What is AIARE (American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education)?
 
“AIARE was established in 1998 as a 501 (c) 3 non-profit educational organization to create a researched based avalanche education model for backcountry users with the belief that avalanche education, research, and training can prevent injuries and fatalities due to avalanches. AIARE develops and disseminates research-based avalanche curriculum to over 100 Providers in the US, South America, Europe and Asia.”
 

Why choose Acadia Mountain Guides for your avalanche education?

Simply our instructor team is the strongest in New England and our courses reflect that. We were at the table early on when the concept of furthering public avalanche education in the U.S. was being discussed and the American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education was being created. For several years we were the only climbing school sponsoring AIARE avalanche courses in the eastern U.S. We often ran them at a financial loss, brought avalanche guru Karl Klassen (canadian IFMGA guide, chief forecaster for the Canadian Avalanche Association, and initial technical director for AIARE) in from western Canada to teach them, and corralled all of our friends to attend just to have enough people to run the course. In fact, many of the snow rangers and current avalanche course providers who are working or have worked on Mount Washington were participants in those early courses. Today, times have changed and demand for courses has created an abundance of courses and providers. While all the courses are good, we believe ours to be superior and here’s why:

Jon Tierney is the longest standing, continuous provider of AIARE avalanche courses in the east. He first brought avalanche courses to New England as early as 1986 on Katahdin. He began co-instructing with and was mentored by Karl Klassen in the mid 90’s with the inception of AIARE. In his lifetime, Jon has a love of high places and has spent a lot of time on snow as an alpine and ski guide and a climbing ranger and you will benefit from that experience. He brings you experience from ranging from high altitude peaks in Alaska, China and South American to mountains of New England. Jon is known for making things easy to understand and his excellent blend of teaching skills that are highly effective with groups. If you take a course with Jon, you will take another. Jon is an AIARE Level I course leader, Level II course leader and a graduate of the Level III professional course.

Jon is a very experienced professional guide and one of best outdoor educators in the AMGA. His client care and technical skills are excellent.” – 2006, Bela Vadasz (Ski Mountaineering discipline coordinator) and Rob Hess (AMGA Technical Director).

Al Mandell is a superb, technically precise skier who has coached several aspiring IFMGA guides on their ski skills in preparation for their ski exams. But more than that he has a huge passion for skiing that you can’t help but become infected by. He is an engineer so avalanche science makes sense and he is able to share it with participants in a very understandable and excited manner. Al has completed the AMGA Ski Guides Course and AMGA Advanced Ski Mountaineering Course and Aspirant Exam this spring and is pursuing the AMGA Ski Mountaineering Certification. Al is an AIARE Level I course leader, Level II course leader and a graduate of the Level III professional course.

Blake Keogh is the newest member of our team but he is no stranger to snow. A superb skier, Blake shadowed and assisted on nearly every course we ran in 2015 and 2016. Now that’s a lot of commitment from someone whose friends are all out there shredding the “pow” on those freshie days. That commitment extends to research and Blake completed his graduate thesis on the subject of The Human Factor Effect and Avalanches in Tuckerman Ravine. Blake an AIARE Level I course instructor. Blake is a Level 1 course instructor and a graduate of the Level III professional course as well.

So before you just sign up for a course, compare our instructor team to others. When you do, the choice will be easy.

Each participant on an AMGCS avalanche course will be provided a beacon, probe, and shovel. Interestingly we were surprised to learn that not all northeastern avalanche courses traveling in avalanche terrain were outfitted with the core safety tools. Additionally, each group of four will be provided a group snow study kit. Of course, if you have your own you are welcome to use it.

At each course, we bring a selection of brand new beacons, probes, and shovels along with avalanche packs and snow study tools. Students can try these and purchase them at a significant discount if they like. If you need outdoor gear, all AMGCS clients also get a lifetime 15% personal purchase discount at AlpenglowGear.com.

We have access to Katahdin and some years we run an avalanche course there! Hands down, Katahdin is the best area in New England for an avalanche course. For our Katahdin avalanche courses we stay in a warm bunkhouse (courtesy of Baxter State Park) and are only minutes away from real avalanche terrain on a variety of aspects. The area works well for both skiers and snowshoers.

AIARE Avalanche Rescue and AMG Medical Care

The Companion Rescue Course is a one day stand-alone course that is intended to be retaken periodically in order to keep abreast of best practices in rescue techniques and gear. The course goes beyond the basic skills taught in the Level 1 Class. Multiple skill building and scenario-based exercises will focus on single and multi-person burial with a heavy emphasis on scene management and teamwork.

This is pre-requisite for AIARE Level 2 Courses and the AIARE Pro 1and is highly recommended as Level 1 participants as well. Also, a great skill refresher.

In many ways finding a buried companion is the easy part! You now have to take care of a potentially badly injured companion(s). The Acadia Mountain Guides course is unique as it also includes basic information and training on post rescue care developed by IFMGA guide and Flight Paramedic Jon Tierney.

Avalanche Companion Rescue and Medical Care

December 21st, 2018AIARE Avalanche Rescue and AMG Medical Care. Mount Washington Valley, NH. Group pricing available. Also available by private arrangement. Instructor Jon Tierney.$130.00
Februrary 1st, 2019AIARE Avalanche Rescue and AMG Medical Care. Mount Washington Valley, NH. Group pricing available. Also available by private arrangement. Instructor Jon Tierney.$130.00
February 16th, 2019AIARE Avalanche Rescue and AMG Medical Care. Mount Washington Valley, NH. Group pricing available. Also available by private arrangement. Instructor Al Mandel.$130.00
March 3rd, 2019AIARE Avalanche Rescue and AMG Medical Care. Chic Chocs, Quebec 

AIARE Level 1 Avalanche Course –
Avalanche Awareness, Decision Making, and Basic Rescue

A must for all who travel into the mountains in winter and will help you to understand safe winter travel. It is also a great tune up for winter travelers who have some experience or prior training. Snowboarders, skiers, snowmobilers, snowshoers, and mountaineers will learn the basics of avalanche hazard formation through the relationships of terrain, snowpack, weather and people. Participants will learn about interpreting forecasts, trip planning considerations, route selection, travel techniques, educated decision making, and search and rescue skills including use of transceivers and probes. The course combines classroom skills with field time to help you to answer these questions: Where is the danger? When is it dangerous? Should we go on? What do I do if caught? (approximately 24 hours).

Our courses are typically structured to begin in the evening of day 1 and have a evening session on day 2 instead of meeting in the morning on day 1. This often allows participants to travel more conveniently. About 1/3 of day 2 and all of day 3 is spent in the field.

Who should take the course? The AIARE 1 is for anyone, regardless of method of travel (skis, snowshoes, snowmobile, climber, etc) who wants to travel in or near avalanche terrain. Aspiring professionals will need to take the AIARE 1 and a Companion Rescue course as a prerequisite for the Pro 1 Course.

Prerequisites: Students must be able to travel in avalanche terrain on either skis or snowshoes and possess appropriate clothing to stay warm and dry on cold and windy winter days.

Have a group? Are you part of a college organization, ski club, etc.? We are happy to schedule a customized course for organizations, small groups, and individuals through New England, Eastern Canada. Of course, if you would like to schedule a course in Iceland or Colorado we would be very pleased to work with you.

AIARE Level 1 Avalanche Awareness and Rescue Course

December 14th-16th, 2018Mount Washington Valley, NH. Group pricing available. Also available by private arrangement. Meets on the evening of 14th at Pinkham Notch Visitor Center.$395.00
December 21st-23rd, 2018Mount Washington Valley, NH. Group pricing available. Also available by private arrangement. Meets on the evening of 14th at Pinkham Notch Visitor Center.$395.00
December 28th-30th, 2018Mount Washington Valley, NH. Group pricing available. Also available by private arrangement. Meets on the evening of 14th at Pinkham Notch Visitor Center.$395.00
January 4th-6th, 2019Mount Washington Valley, NH. Group pricing available. Also available by private arrangement. Meets on the evening of 14th at Pinkham Notch Visitor Center.$395.00
January 11th-13th, 2019Mount Washington Valley, NH. Group pricing available. Also available by private arrangement. Meets on the evening of 14th at Pinkham Notch Visitor Center.$395.00
January 25th-27th, 2019Mount Washington Valley, NH. Group pricing available. Also available by private arrangement. Meets on the evening of 14th at Pinkham Notch Visitor Center.$395.00
February 1st-3rd, 2019Mount Washington Valley, NH. Group pricing available. Also available by private arrangement. Meets on the evening of 14th at Pinkham Notch Visitor Center.$395.00
February 8th-10th, 2019Mount Washington Valley, NH. Group pricing available. Also available by private arrangement. Meets on the evening of 14th at Pinkham Notch Visitor Center.$395.00
February 17th-22th, 2019AIARE Level 1 Avalanche Course and Backcountry Skiing, Chic Chocs, Quebec. Includes AIARE Avalanche Rescue and AMG Medical Care. Includes travel, meals and lodging. 
February 22nd-24th, 2019Mount Washington Valley, NH. Group pricing available. Also available by private arrangement. Meets on the evening of 14th at Pinkham Notch Visitor Center.$395.00
March 2nd-3rd, 2019Sugarloaf, ME. Group pricing available. Also available by private arrangement. Meets on the morning of 2nd at Sugarloaf Conference Center. Includes Saturday evening session. Must be capable of skiing or snowboarding intermediate terrain. Includes day ski passes.$395.00
March 15th-17th, 2019Mount Washington Valley, NH. Group pricing available. Also available by private arrangement. Meets on the evening of 14th at Pinkham Notch Visitor Center.$395.00

AIARE Level 2 Avalanche Course –
Snow Observation and Stability Analysis

The next step in self-sufficiency in the mountains. The 3 day (24 hour) AIARE 2 Course develops a more complete understanding of snowpack development and metamorphism. It provides essential knowledge of snow observation that is fundamental to the development of a sound decision-making process and stability analysis. The course begins with a short review of Level 1 material and moves on to address snowpack formation, changes in the snowpack over time, weather influence, development and effects of temperature gradients, hoar formation and human triggering and release factors. The course emphasizes the use of internationally standardized observation and recording methods. Learn proper techniques for conducting and interpreting snowpit observations, hand assessments and column tests. 

Prerequisites: Students must have the ability to travel in avalanche terrain on either skis (able to ski inbound black diamonds without falling), snowboard or snowshoes. An AIARE Level 1 Course or equivalent training/experience and completion of an AIARE or AAA 1 day Avalanche Rescue course is required (may be taken day before course). A winter of practical experience after the Level 1 course is beneficial before taking the Level 2 course but not required.

Have a group? Are you part of a college organization, ski club, etc.? We are happy to schedule a customized course for organizations, small groups, and individuals through New England, Eastern Canada. Of course, if you would like to schedule a course in Iceland or Colorado we would be very pleased to work with you.

2019 AIARE Level 2 Avalanche Courses Dates

February 2-4AIARE Level 2 Avalanche Course. Mount Washington Valley, NH. Scheduled to dovetail nicely into the AIARE Level 2 Course. Group pricing available. Also available by private arrangement.$495.00
March 2-8AIARE Level 2 Avalanche Course and Backcountry Skiing, Chic Chocs, Quebec. Includes AIARE Avalanche Rescue and AMG Medical Care. Includes travel and lodging$1200.00