WINTER 2020-2021

Email us at for questions or to schedule a private course with your backcountry group. Registration link for all courses is below.


  • AIARE 1 - December 9 (virtual meeting) followed by field sessions December 12-13 (SOLD OUT)

  • AIARE 1 - December 16 (virtual meeting) followed by field sessions December 19-20 (SOLD OUT)

  • Avalanche Rescue - December 18, field session (SOLD OUT)


  • Avalanche Rescue - January 8, field session (SOLD OUT)

  • AIARE 2 - January 6 (virtual meeting) followed by field sessions January 9-10 ($495)

  • AIARE 2 Hut course - January 14-17 (SOLD OUT)

  • AIARE 1 - January 20 (virtual meeting) followed by field sessions January 23-24 (SOLD OUT)


  • AIARE 1 - February  3 (virtual meeting) followed by field sessions February 6-7 (SOLD OUT)

Join Colorado Backcountry for the best in avalanche education.  Our team includes former AIARE staff members, instructor trainers, and AIARE PRO instructors. Our AIARE course leaders are experienced avalanche professionals, who meet or exceed all AIARE and A3 qualifications.


Fundamentally, we want to save lives.  Avalanches can be deadly, but avalanche accidents are preventable.  You'll learn how to:

  • PREPARE yourself as a backcountry traveller who can track seasonal conditions, investigate trip options, and practice avalanche rescue skills.

  • PLAN each day's backcountry trip, including identifying where you do and don't want to travel.

  • RIDE SAFELY in the backcountry by practicing an intuitive and repeatable process to manage your risk.

  • DEBRIEF each day to become a life-long learner.

Each class is based in Crested Butte.


AIARE Avalanche Rescue is a one-day, scenario-based course designed for both new winter travelers and experienced veterans. New participants learn the basics of companion rescue while returning participants improve their skills by incorporating the latest technology and avalanche rescue theory.


For 2020-21, AIARE 1 and AIARE 2 courses will include blended learning including some self-paced learning, virtual class meetings, and 2 full days of field instruction in Crested Butte. AIARE 1 provides an introduction to decision making tools and risk management for avalanche terrain.  AIARE 2 is for backcountry travelers who have completed both the Avalanche Rescue course and AIARE 1 who are looking to advance their decision-making skills in complicated backcountry scenarios.



  • Inside perspective - 15 years as the national Program Director at AIARE, we know the curriculum inside and out!

  • We'll maximize your experience - we're professional educators who will target your personal learning needs.

  • An amazing learning venue - awesome ski terrain for all abilities, easy trailhead access, gorgeous views, reliable snowpack, and a super fun town!

Avalanche Education
Avalanche Education

Choosing terrain on an AIARE 1 course

Riding Safely
Riding Safely

Crested Butte backcountry skiing

Trip Planning
Trip Planning

Planning for where to ski

Avalanche Education
Avalanche Education

Choosing terrain on an AIARE 1 course


We are proud to offer a 15% discount for students under the age of 18. Please send us an email to register.

Private courses are available.

Cost includes student manual, AIARE fieldbook, and certificate of completion.

All abilities and experience levels welcome for Avalanche Rescue and AIARE 1 courses.