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AIARE Avalanche Class Level 1, 3 days at Lassen National Park

December 12-14, 2014; January 17-19, 2015 (MLK Weekend); February 14-16, 2015 (Presidents Day Weekend)


AIARE logoIf you are (or want to be) a backcountry skier, snowboarder, snowshoer or snowmachiner, you need to prepare yourself to make your own decisions about how and where to travel in the backcountry. The Outdoor Adventure Club's AIARE Level One Avalanche Class gives students a decision making framework to aid in planning and executing trips into avalanche terrain. The course also gives you practical experience on a full day ski tour that will help you make your own decisions when you travel in the backcountry after the class.


The Outdoor Adventure Club is an AIARE course provider, and students will receive a certificate of completion upon successful completion of this course.


Topics covered in full detail include:


Introduction to the avalanche phenomena

  • Types and characteristics of avalanches

  • Avalanche motion

  • Size classification

  • The mountain snowpack: an introduction to metamorphism and layering

Observations and Information Gathering

  • Field observation techniques
  • Snowpack tests: rutschblock, compression test
  • Avalanche danger factors or “Red Flags”
  • Observation checklist
  • Avalanche danger scale

Trip Planning and Preparation

  • Avalanche terrain recognition, assessment, and selection
  • Route finding and travel techniques
  • Decision making and human factors
  • Companion rescue and equipment

Avalanche ClassThe course is three days long, with a mixture of classroom and field time. We operate these classes in two formats. The "standard" format is to spend three days in Lassen. This is our recommended format. It provides for more learning in the snowy environment, and splits the days up fairly evenly. The "Bay Area" format is to spend a long evening (5 hours) iin class in the bay area, the week of the class, and then spend two full days in Lassen. This "Bay Area" format allows busy people to take the course without having to take a day off of work. We strongly prefer the standard format, but we are happy to offer this bay area format to allow more people to learn these skills.


The days are split fairly evenly between class and field time, where you'll develop knowledge of avalanches, and introduce a decision making framework to be utilized when planning and traveling in avalanche terrain. The last day is spent primarily in the field, on the "perfect tour", planned and executed with the decision making framework introduced in the course. This last day is a very practical hands on tour. You will plan and execute the tour with your companions in much the same way as you will when you are out of class and on your own. Of course the instructors will be there, helping you make decisions and imparting their backcountry ski/snowboard knowledge along the way, too.


You will practice companion rescue using an avalanche transceiver, probe and shovel during the class, but you'll also learn valuable information to help you avoid avalanches in the first place.


Some backcountry travel is necessary during the course. Backcountry skis with skins, (randonee or telemark), snow shoes, and split boards are all acceptable means of transportation. Snowmachines are not allowed inside Lassen National Park. You do not need to be a great skier to take this class. You do need to be able to travel in the backcountry.



Overnight accommodations are available in the town of Mineral, where the classroom sessions take place. We have a house rented in Mineral that will hold 8 people. You can stay in the house for three nights, starting the night before the class, for $100.


Where is this trip?

Here's a Google Map to the general area

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Specific driving directions for the trip will come with your confirmed reservation.



  • All necessary wilderness use permits
  • Instructors, trained by AIARE, and qualified to teach the class. Outdoor Adventure Club instructors are also experienced back country guides, certified as Wilderness First Responders, and trained by the American Mountain Guides Association (AMGA)
  • Group first aid kit
  • AIARE field book ($25 value)
  • AIARE student manual in a Naked Binder (recycled and recyclable binders, made in USA)
  • The Outdoor Adventure Club operates with a Commercial Use Authorization in Lassen National Park

You'll need to bring:


A complete gear list will come with your confirmed reservation, but you should be ready with:

  • On the snow transport (skis/ snowshoes/ splitboard)
  • Personal avalanche gear (transceiver, shovel, probe)
  • Clothing appropriate for the conditions
  • Lassen National Park Entrance Fee - $10/car that enters the park

The Outdoor Adventure Club has transceivers, shovels, probes and Jones split boards available to rent during the course. OAC rental page



Ultimate Members: Free

Standard Members: $340

Non-members: $399

Optional 3 nights shared lodging at OAC house in Mineral: $100


Trip Cancellation Policy


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To Register for this trip(s), please complete the following 2 steps:


Step 1 - Click on the trip registration link below and fill out the form to complete Step 1 of the registration process. Don't forget to return to this page to complete Step 2, payment (which may require closing a tab or window).


Trip Registration Form


Step 2 - Complete payment information using PayPal.

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If you have any questions about this trip, please email us at info@outdooradventureclub.com or call 415-377-1195.


Private, custom and corporate trips: Any trip on our calendar can be customized and offered to your friends, family or corporate group. Just ask and we'll make it happen.