Hut-Based AIARE Level 1 Crested Butte

Photo: Creston Doverspike

Course Description

This course covers all the information in a standard AIARE Level 1 Course, but uses a real backcountry ski hut for a classroom! Class sizes are smaller and more intimate in hut-based courses and you have the added advantage of being able to apply your new knowledge immediately . The Maroon Hut in Gothic Colorado (located just outside of Crested Butte) is a mellow 4 mile ski from the trail head. The Maroon Hut has raised the bar for backcountry lodging.  Hut amenities include:

-ground source heat pump for heating and hot water
-electricity
-kitchen with running water
-separate outhouse facilities
-four bedrooms with beds and cots

Students will come away from the course having been presented with:

  • How to prepare and plan for a backcountry tour
  • How to analyze an avalanche forecast
  • How to identify avalanche terrain & avalanche types
  • How to recognize hazardous conditions
  • Basic snow pack understanding
  • Basics of route selection/terrain features
  • Basic tests techniques and interpretation
  • Educated decision making
  • Basic rescue techniques
  • Group management

Course Itinerary

Friday
Meet at 8am.  Group & course introduction
Gear check, hike into the Maroon Hut
Course goals & classroom session
Field session
Equipment review & planning for following day

Saturday
Classroom session
Field session
Classroom session

Sunday
Classroom session
Field session
Course review and question/answer segment & classroom session
Clean up hut, pack up and hike out (you can expect to be back in town between 4pm & 5pm)