AIARE Level 1 Hut-Based | Crested Butte

This course covers all the information in a standard American Institute for Avalanche Education and Research (AIARE) Level 1 Course, but uses a real backcountry ski hut for a classroom! Class sizes are smaller and more intimate in hut-based courses and you have the added advantage of being able to apply your new knowledge immediately . 

The Maroon and Crystal Huts in Gothic Colorado (located just outside of Crested Butte) is a mellow 4 mile ski from the trail head. The Maroon Hut has raised the bar for backcountry lodging and includes heat, electricity, running water and outhouse facilities.


Students will come away from the course having learned: 
  • How to prepare and plan for a backcountry tour 
  • How to analyze an avalanche forecast 
  • How to identify avalanche terrain & avalanche types 
  • How to recognize hazardous conditions 
  • Basic snow pack understanding 
  • Route selection and terrain features 
  • Snowpack tests and interpretation 
  • Educated decision making 
  • Basic rescue techniques 
  • Group management 


  • Inclusions: Hut fees, breakfast and dinner while at the hut, AIARE Level 1 Course Manual, AIARE Field Book, AIARE Level 1 certificate upon successful completion of course. 
  • Exclusions: Lunch & snacks, avalanche safety gear, backcountry touring gear.* 

*Avalanche safety gear and backcountry touring set-ups can be rented for an additional fee. 

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