Avalanche Courses 2020/21

COVID-19 UPDATE: Paragon Guides, with the help of the American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education (AIARE), has adjusted the structure of our classes to provide a healthy and safe learning environment for both students and instructors. Below is a list of some of the changes we have made. 

  • Class size is limited to 10 students (previously 12)
  • Pre-course self paced on-line learning and testing
  • ZOOM classroom time for short lessons and Q&A sessions
  • Increased field learning time

Your most important backcountry skill will always be education.  Let the Vail Valley’s original guiding service educate you on how to safely navigate the hazards of the winter snowpack with AIARE Avalanche Courses.

New…Stay Smart in Avalanche Terrain: A Level 1 Refresher Course

This one day course is for people looking to refresh the knowledge and skills gained in their Avalanche Level 1 Course. There will be some pre-course online assignments. The majority of the class day will be spent in the field. Students will receive a copy of the book “Staying Alive in Avalanche Terrain.” Prerequisite: AIARE or AAI Level 1

  • Course Dates: December 1 or January 5
  • Pricing: $210
  • Food and Hydration: students are responsible for personal food and hydration
  • Gear: Avalanche equipment (beacon, shovel, probe, and backpack) available at no charge. If you need to rent touring equipment, please reserve your equipment well in advance of course.
  • Rentals: Paragon Guides has limited availability of alpine touring and splitboarding equipment rentals. Touring equipment is available locally at Alpine Quest Sports and Cripple Creek Backcountry.
  • Register for course: 970.926.5299 or trips@paragonguides.com

AIARE Level 1  &  AIARE Companion Rescue

2020/21 Avalanche Course Schedule

Both our AIARE Level 1 and Companion Rescue course offerings are listed below. All courses have an 8 student capacity. All courses are available for a private buy-out, if no one has previously signed up.
DatesCourse and DescriptionPriceStatus
Sat, Nov 28, 2020AIARE Companion Rescue$170Open
Fri, Dec 11-13, 2020AIARE Level 1$485Waitlist
Mon, Dec 28-30, 2020AIARE Level 1$485Open
Fri, Jan 8-10, 2021AIARE Level 1$485Waitlist
Sat, Jan 16-18, 2021AIARE Level 1, MLK Weekend$485Open
Wed, Feb 3, 2021AIARE Companion Rescue$170Open
Sat, Feb 13-15, 2021AIARE Level 1, Pres. Day Weekend$485Open
Fri, Feb 19-21, 2021AIARE Level 1$485Open
Sat, Mar 13, 2021AIARE Companion Rescue$170Open
Fri, Mar 5-7, 2021AIARE Level 1$485Open

AIARE Level 1 Avalanche Course

This 3-day, 24 hour course is a staple for any backcountry recreationalist. It combines self paced online learning, classroom and field time to provide the student with a hands-on introduction to avalanche hazard management. This certification never expires and is based on the only domestic curriculum that has met the international standard for the mountain guiding community.


What You Learn:

  • The American Institute for Avalanche Research and EducationDecision-making through proper planning and observation
  • Terrain recognition and travel techniques
  • Companion rescue including beacon use
  • Snowpit introduction and analysis
  • AIARE Level 1 Course Information

AIARE Companion Rescue Course

This 1-day, stand-alone course is designed to keep backcountry recreationalist abreast of best practices in rescue techniques and gear. This course has no prerequisites and can be taken at any time. It is perfect for anyone who needs to freshen up their rescue skills, looking to take the Level 2, or the beginner who isn’t quite ready for the Level 1.


AIARE Rescue Course Calendar

What You Learn:

  • Current best practices in avalanche rescue
  • Develop  a “muscle memory” of rescue technique that improves your response time
  • Multi-burial rescue practice
  • AIARE Rescue Course Information

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