Avalanche & First Aid Courses

K2-SKIS-Clean Crop Usage


Course Descriptions:  (all courses must be pre-registered and pre-paid, see contact information below)

AIARE* (American Institute for Avalanche Research & Education) Level 1:

This is a 3-day/24-hour course designed to introduce the backcountry enthusiast to the fundamentals of avalanche education. At the end of the course the student will be able to recognizing avalanche terrain; know how to prepare for and plan travel in avalanche terrain; have a framework for decision-making in avalanche terrain; and be able to initiate an effective companion rescue in avalanche terrain. The class starts inside for lecture and powerpoint discussions, and then moves out to the mountain for hands-on skills practice. All students are required to have skis or a snowboard for the backcountry. Touring gear, including shovel, probe, beacon and skins or snowshoes is required. Student to instructor ratio is 6:1, with minimum of three students and maximum of 12. 

Cost: $300 ($327 with lift tickets)
Time: 8am-4:30pm
Course Schedule, AIARE Level 1:
Friday-Sunday, December 20-22
Friday-Sunday, January 17-19
Friday-Sunday, February 14-16
Friday-Sunday, March 14-16: Women Only AIARE Level 1
Friday-Sunday, March 21-23
Saturday-Monday, April 5-7

*The AIARE curriculum is nationally known and certified.

If you are 18 to 24 years of age you may be interested in applying for the Riley McCarthy AIARE Level 1 Memorial Scholarship.

AIARE* (American Institute for Avalanche Research & Education) Level 2:

The AIARE Level 2 course is a 4-day program that provides back country leaders the opportunity to advance their avalanche knowledge and decision-making skills. This course also includes the introductory and prerequisite components for the professional progression: the AIARE Level 3 certificate. The AIARE 2 course builds from the introductory avalanche hazard management model introduced in the Level 1 course and adds to it the evaluation of factors critical to stability evaluation.

Student learning outcomes will include:

  • Advance understanding of avalanche terrain, particularly from the perspective of stability analysis.
  • Discussing how snowpack develops and metamorphosizes over time, and discussing the factors that contribute to spatial variability.
  • Learning standard observation guidelines and recording formats for factors that influence or indicate snow stability. SWAG MODULE.
  • Advance understanding of avalanche release and triggering mechanisms.
  • Introducing a snow stability analysis and forecasting framework.
  • Improving companion rescue skills including multiple and deep burials. 

Cost: $450
Course Schedule:
Tuesday-Friday, February 18-21 (four days)

*The AIARE curriculum is nationally known and certified.

Introduction to Backcountry Travel:

A great extension to our Level 1 or Avalanche Basics classes, this 8-hour course will emphasize smooth transitions from uphill to downhill travel, and give you the opportunity to put your new route selection, safe travel techniques, and backcountry decision making skills to work in the company of our experienced Ski Patrol instructors. Must have skins for your skis or split board (snowshoes are permissible for snowboarders), avalanche transceiver, probe and shovel, and the knowledge to use them. Student to instructor ratio is 5:1, with a minimum of two students.

Cost: $100
Time: 8am-4:30pm
Course Schedule, Introduction to Back Country Travel:
Saturday, December 14
Saturday, December 28
Saturday, January 11
Saturday, January 25
Saturday, February 8
Saturday, February 22
Saturday, March 8
Saturday, March 22
Saturday, April 12

Avy 101 - Avalanche Awareness:

An introduction to safe travel in the backcountry. This 6-hour course covers the basics from understanding the avalanche/weather forecast to what safety gear is required. It will also include the basics of recognizing avalanche terrain, snow pack observations, transceiver use and companion rescue. The class starts inside, then will be outside for skills practice. Come prepared to be outdoors. No special gear is required for this class. This class has a minimum of three students and maximum of 15.

Cost: $75
Time: 9:00am-3:30pm
Course Schedule, Avalanche Basics: 
Saturday, December 14
Saturday, December 28
Saturday, January 11
Saturday, January 25
Saturday, February 1
Saturday, February 22
Saturday, March 1
Saturday, March 22
Saturday, April 12


Wilderness First Aid Class:

In this 20-hour course students will learn the fundamentals of prevention and care for traumatic and medical emergencies; CPR and Automated External Defibrillators (AED); and how to recognize and treat environmental and biological emergencies. This American Health and Safety Course (AHSI) meets the Boy Scouts of America curriculum and guidelines.  Minimum of four students and maximum of 10.

Cost: $200
Course Schedule, Wilderness First Aid Class:
Saturday-Sunday, March 8-9

Wilderness First Responder:

With successful completion of this 80-hour course you will have the Wilderness First Responder and CPR for the Professional Rescuer certificates required by most outdoor education and professional outdoor recreation services, including Stevens Pass Patrol. Multiple days of scenario-based training will give you the confidence to recognize, and the skills to treat, medical and traumatic emergencies, with an emphasis on the unique challenges encountered in a wilderness setting. Minimum of four and maximum of 10 students.

Cost: $575
Course Schedule, Wilderness First Responder:
Saturday-Saturday, March 22-29 (eight days)

Wilderness First Responder Refresher/Recertification:

This course may be used to recertify current Wilderness First Responder or Wilderness EMT (wilderness portions only). The 3-day course is heavily scenario-based and will provide a review and update of wilderness medicine treatment practices and evacuation guidelines. American Heart Association CPR for the Healthcare Provider is also included in the curriculum.

Successful completion of the course and both written and practical examinations will refresh the student as a Wilderness First Responder or Wilderness portion of the Wilderness EMT. Participants will receive recertification cards good for the same amount of time as their original certifications.

Cost: $275
Course Schedule, Wilderness First Responder Refresher/Recertification:
Friday-Sunday, April 11-13 (three days)

Heart Saver First Aid & CPR:

The Heart Saver First Aid course teaches rescuers to effectively recognize and treat adult emergencies in the critical first minutes until emergency medical services personnel arrive. The course also provides a complete health and safety training solution for first aid, adult CPR and AED. Students will practice skills that will require them to be on their hands and knees, bending, standing and lifting.

Cost: $40 ($30 for First Aid portion ONLY)
Course Schedule, Heart Saver First Aid & CPR:
Due to an injury we have had to cancel this class. We apologize for any inconvenience!

Avalanche Basics for Snowmobiling, Mill Valley Nordic Center:

This course is available in spring after the Nordic Center closes for the season.  An introduction to safe travel in the back country, this 8-hour course covers the basics of route finding, snow pack observations, recognizing avalanche terrain, and companion rescue for snowmobilers. It’s a combination of inside learning and discussion, while the rest of the day is spent in the field practicing skills. Must have snowmobile, avalanche transceiver, probe and shovel. Students will meet at the Stevens Pass Nordic Center in Mill Valley. Bring enough food & water for the day as there will be no services available at the Nordic Center.

Cost: $125
Course Schedule, Avalanche Awareness: TBD


For more information on our Avalanche & First Aid Education courses, please call 206-812-4510 ext. 4178 to speak with our Mountain Education Coordinator.

To register, please call our Sales & Reservations office at 206-812-4510 ext. 4206.

NOTE: Classes can be offered on other times/days by special request for groups of four or more.