AIARE Level 1 Chamonix

AIARE Avalanche Safety - invest in something that could save your life

The American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education’s mission is to “save lives through avalanche education”. We have no doubt this course could save your life.

This course will teach you how to assess the risks when going off-piste and what to do in the case of an accident; you will learn how to read the snow pack, understand the weather conditions, rescue someone from a crevasse, use a transciever to search for avalanche victims, and much more.

The course is split between learning theory in the classroom and putting it into practise in the mountains. Over the three days you will get plenty of time in the Chamonix backcountry to learn about off-piste safety skills.

AIARE avalanche safety courses are the result of a collaboration between Canadian, Swiss and American mountain guides. AIARE sets curriculum standards for avalanche education from recreational to professional levels. The curriculum evolves with changes in the world of avalanche research and education. All AIARE instructors are certified and required to stay current for the level of course they are teaching.

There are currently 60 registered AIARE course providers and 200 instructors worldwide. Chamonix Experience is one of only two recognised AIARE course providers in Europe - watch our video below to find out what our course involves.

More information can be found at

The AIARE Level 1 is a 3 day / 24 hour introduction to avalanche hazard management. During this time you will gain:

Basic understanding of avalanches Decision making skills and risk management in avalanche terrain Avalanche search and rescue techniques Good basic knowledge to prepare for and carry out a backcountry trip

Our course offers lessons and exercises that are practically oriented, useful and applicable in the field; You will learn how to identify the right questions and make your own decisions, rather than us just giving you all the "answers".

A final debrief includes a knowledge quiz to test student comprehension and give feedback to course instructors. Students are encouraged and counselled on how to apply the skills learned and told that no course can fully guarantee safety, either during or after course completion. It will however, equip you with a much greater understanding of the mountain environment.

Level Requirements

The only pre-requisites for this course are that you can ski or snowboard well on the piste and are comfortable skiing gentle off-piste terrain.You will use ski touring equipment during the course, but previous ski touring experience is not required.

Snowboarders - you don’t need previous touring experience if you are using snow shoes. If you are using a split board you will have to know how to set the board up quickly and efficiently by yourself. Split boards are tricky to use and you will have no time to learn how to set up the board during the course.