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  Avalanche Training                

Avalanch Training with White Pine TouringThe backcountry is a beautiful and alluring place to explore, but it can also be extremely dangerous during the winter months. Having the proper education, equipment and knowledge is crucial to both your enjoyment of the backcountry landscape and your survival. Jans offers a range of American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education (AIARE) avalanche courses through our Guiding Service, White Pine Touring, that will help you develop the skills and knowledge you need to travel safely in the backcountry during the winter months.

Some History:

White Pine Touring’s avalanche education Program was developed by IFMGA certified guide, Freddy Grossniklaus. In 2000, Freddy started working with AIARE to help develop the curriculum for the AIARE Level 1, 2 and 3 courses. These original avalanche courses were taught out of the Lodges at Park City Mountain Resort, and on what is now Lady Morgan bowl at Deer Valley Resort. In 2002, Freddy approached White Pine Touring about managing the program to better address the insurance and logistical concerns that were hampering his efforts. Starting in 2004, Freddy mentored current avalanche education program director, Scott House, and the two worked closely to develop a sustainable avalanche education program. Soon after, White Pine Touring became an official AIARE course provider – a distinction they have held to this day. Since the beginning, White Pine Touring has worked closely with AIARE and its pool of instructors to help improve and promote avalanche education. White Pine Touring is now recognized as one of the top AIARE course providers in North America.

Whether you’re a skier, snowboarder, snowshoer, or snowmobiler, our AIARE avalanche courses are designed to give you the skills and confidence you need to safely enjoy your time in the backcountry. Our AIARE qualified instructors have years of experience in the Wasatch and Uinta mountains, and have travelled the world in search of different snowpacks and climates to broaden their base of knowledge. Whether you’re just starting to entertain the idea of backcountry adventure, or you’re a seasoned veteran looking to assume a leadership role in avalanche education, there is an AIARE course for you. Check out our offerings below for specific information on course itineraries, student learning outcomes and course curriculums.


DATES: 2015-16 Avalanche Course dates coming soon.

COST: $295.00 Per Person

*Call 435-649-8710 to be placed on our waiting list

An AIARE 1 avalanche course is a must for anyone who travels in the backcountry or plans on leaving ski resort boundaries. This three day, 24-hour course is an introduction to hazard management. The course includes travel techniques, basic rescue procedures, and information that should be known by anyone adventuring in the backcountry, with or without a guide. Students can expect to develop a good knowledge base for how to prepare for and carry out a trip, understand the responsible decision making process, and learn to rescue a buried person (if an avalanche occurs and someone in your party is caught). This course is based in the Park City area, and includes a mix of classroom and field work.

AIARE 1 Student Learning Outcomes:

  • Plan and prepare for travel in avalanche terrain
  • Recognize avalanche terrain
  • Describe a basic framework for making decisions in avalanche terrain
  • Learn and apply effective companion rescue

**White Pine Touring will be offering a new blended learning curriculum as part of a pilot program with AIARE in 2014/2015. The AIARE 1 Blended Program is an introduction to avalanche hazard management that adds an additional eight hours of self-paced online instruction to the traditional three-day/24-hour course to even further deepen students’ understanding of new avalanche terminology and concepts. The online instruction and resources give students the opportunity to go as in depth as needed, allowing students to individualize their instruction. The increase in total instructional time frees up face-to-face classroom and field time to focus on skills development, giving students more time in the field working with an instructor.

Through a relevant and engaging assignment, students will develop a basic understanding of avalanche terminology, identifying avalanche terrain, and how the mountain snowpack forms. Knowledge quizzes allow students to check their understanding and make sure they are prepared to gain the most from their face- to-face instruction. Students will also learn how to apply the information provided by forecast centers to their trip plans, allowing for more practice planning trips during a course.**

Avalanche 1 Refresher Course

The start of every ski season is a challenge; pre-season conditioning, new equipment, pass, etc. There is lot to process and remember before you head out for your first day on the mountain. Before you head out for your first day in the backcountry this season join us for our Avalanche 1 refresher. This evening, and 1 full day course will help shore up the concepts and skills covered in our AIARE 1 avalanche courses. We’ll go over updates in technology and practices, as well as covering topics like companion rescue, travel techniques, trip planning and more. This is the ideal course for the former AIARE 1 student who isn't ready, or doesn't want to progress to the AIARE 2 course, but would still like to keep their skills sharp, and their knowledge current. You must have completed your AIARE 1 or similar level 1 avalanche course to participate.

DATES: 2015-16 Avalanche Course dates coming soon.

COST: $150.00

Location: White Pine Touring, 1790 Bonanza DR, Park City, UT 84060, 435-649-8710

AIARE 2 Avalanche Course

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

Utah Mountain AdventuresThis seasons’ AIARE 2 Avalanche Course will be hosted in conjunction with Utah Mountain Adventures. This partnership will allow us to conduct up to two days of the course in the Cottonwood Canyons, which has not been possible in the past. We would like to thank Utah Mountain Adventures for their help and support in providing the best possible avalanche education for students in the Wasatch Mountains. For more information on Utah Mountain Adventures please visit or call 801-550-3986.

AIARE 2 Student Learning Outcomes:

  • Advance understanding of avalanche terrain, particularly from the perspective of stability analysis
  • Discuss how the snowpack develops and metamorphoses over time, and discuss the factors that contribute to spatial variability
  • Learn standard observation guidelines and recording formats for factors that influence or indicate snow stability (SWAG MODULE)
  • Advance understanding of avalanche triggering and release mechanisms
  • Introduce a snow stability analysis and forecasting framework
  • Improve companion rescue skills including multiple and deep burials

DATES: 2015-16 Avalanche Course dates coming soon.

COST: $650.00 Per Person

All classes will be held at White Pine Touring, 1790 Bonanza Drive, Park City, UT 84060
For more information please contact or phone 435-649-8710

AIARE 3 Avalanche Course

DATES: 2015-16 Avalanche Course dates coming soon.

The AIARE 3 course is an advanced certification course for experienced and professional avalanche practitioners, professional guides, patrollers and advanced recreational backcountry travelers. The seven-day AIARE 3 course provides participants with an industry-based framework to make decisions in avalanche terrain and to expertly manage the hazards common to avalanche control operations and winter guiding scenarios. Participants are required to form opinions, take on leadership roles, and utilize fellow team members’ skills to assist in the process of forecasting avalanche hazards, snow stability, and appropriate terrain choices. All participants will be evaluated based on their ability to meet the rigorous AIARE 3 standard.

The AIARE 3 course builds on the concepts introduced in the prerequisite AIARE 2 course, including the standardized techniques, and snow and weather observations of the Snow, Weather, and Avalanche Guidelines of the American Avalanche Association (2009). The AIARE 3 takes the “trained observer and technician” and begins the process of making the information relevant to the complexities, variability, and influences of terrain.

If you have specific questions regarding the AIARE 3 program, specific dates, locations, necessary equipment, prerequisites, or would like to apply for entry into the AIARE 3 program, please feel free to contact AIARE Program Director, Ben Pritchet at

AIARE 3 Student Learning Outcomes

  • Practice using an avalanche hazard analysis and risk forecasting process.
  • Form opinions about snow stability, avalanche hazard, and operational decisions.
    Each day begins with a forecast, spends time making decisions in the field, and ends with a hazard analysis and review of risk treatment strategies employed. Hazard evaluation and risk treatment decisions are carefully briefed, coached, and debriefed.
  • Improve participants’ observation and recording skills.
  • Improve the participant’s terrain analysis skills
  • Improve decision making in the field.
  • Improve understanding of the creation and metamorphism of the mountain snowpack.
  • Encourage active participation.
  • Advance participant’s companion rescue skills.