Avalanche Education

Irwin Guides professional team of AMGA Trained and/or Certified Ski Guide, Professional Ski Patrollers and Professional Ski Instructors have been developing and teaching the curriculum of the American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education (AIARE) since it first began in Crested Butte, Colorado. Quick and easy access to numerous trailheads, vast ski terrain for all abilities, and a full array of town and backcountry-hut based course options means we have what it takes to offer you the best avalanche education experience available. Lodging options and discounts are also available!


Please visit one of the following pages for course details


8th Annual Knox Frank Memorial Scholarship for Avalanche Education 

Knox Frank’s love of the mountains was more than an infatuation; it was a need which was only made better when shared with friends, of which he had many.

After college, Knox moved to the Colorado Rockies surrounding himself with others who shared his deep appreciation of their beauty, challenges, and magic. His love of snow and winter took him to Canada, the Cascades, Wyoming, Montana, and Utah. Wherever he went, he built bridges and community and mentored many into accomplished backcountry skiers and mountaineers. He always found time for others, kept an easy smile and used his uncanny sense of humor to deliver an encouraging word.

Knox died skiing with a group of friends in a spring avalanche, 2012. This scholarship honors Knox’s memory as a skier, community member, mentor and friend. It offers a unique opportunity for the recipient to walk in Knox’s shoes in his beloved backcountry community of Crested Butte, and to further backcountry education while experiencing a memorable time in a true ski town community. The chosen winner will receive a FREE avalanche education package in Crested Butte, CO including:
  • Enrollment in any scheduled AIARE Level 1, Level 2, or Refresher Course with Irwin Guides; · Lodging;
  • Breakfast supplied by Gas Café;
  • Evening food and beverages provided by The Brick Oven Pizzeria and Pub.

Scholarship qualifications:
Applicants are required to submit a short video (no more than 3 minutes) or an essay (no more than 2000 words) describing who you are, your passion for the outdoors and for skiing and/or snowboarding, and how you will use your newfound knowledge to educate your community and friends. We also need to know:
  • where you live
  • which course you will register for
  • your age (you must be 18 years or older) 
  • your telephone number 
Upon completion of the course, the scholarship recipient will be required to provide the following: ·
  • an essay about what was learned 
  • 5 pictures from the course
  • a thank you note to the scholarship committee and sponsors 
To apply, please send your essay or video application to: KnoxFrankScholarship@gmail.com (subject: Knox Scholarship).
All applications are due on or before Sunday, October 27, 2019.
The winner will be announced November 3, 2019, via telephone. All applicants and friends are invited to a party held in honor of Knox on January 24, 2020, at The Brick Oven Pizzeria & Pub, 223 Elk Avenue, Crested Butte, CO.

Irwin Guides is proud to partner with Ortovox! Watch one of their avalanche education trailers here!

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