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AIARE 1 Hut Based

AIARE 1 Hut Based

3-day Intro to Managing Avalanche Hazard

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AIARE 1 Hut Based

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Colorado Adventure Guides offers Hut-Based AIARE Level 1 Avalanche Courses! This 24-hour course is an introduction to managing avalanche hazard where you will learn a repeatable process to manage your risk and learn from your experiences in the backcountry.

What sets our hut based AIARE courses apart from the others? Not only do we offer a weekend in an immaculate off-grid backcountry hut, we also provide the meals! By choosing the hut-based setting, you’ll have the opportunity to pick your instructors brains during fireside chats in the evening.

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Activities Offered
Acres of Terrain
5 Star Reviews
Years in Business

AIARE 1 Hut Based Avalanche Education

Immerse Yourself

Imagine spending the weekend with avalanche professionals in the backcountry, learning about snow safety while sipping tea in front of a crackling wood stove. Backcountry skiing or snowboarding right to the hut to enjoy a cold beer while debriefing the day. Students will practice preparing for and carrying out a backcountry trip, keeping track of conditions, communicating, making decisions about hazards while in the backcountry, and learning rescue techniques, and how to execute a winter backcounty hut trip!

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What You'll Learn

Avalanche Shovel Icon

Efficient use of beacon/shovel/probe
Pre-trip equipment check
Survival gear checklist


Understanding a mountain snowpack
Reading and understanding the avalanche forecast
Classifications of avalanches
Characteristics of different types of avalanches

Map Icon
Trip Preparation

Basics of route selection and terrain management
Trip planning and preparation
Group management
Learn how to execute a backcountry hut trip


Recognizing hazardous conditions
Managing risk and decision making
Human factors and influence
Companion rescue techniques

Colorado Avalanche Safety Education Video

Benefits of Hut Based AIARE 1

Immerse Yourself

What sets our hut based AIARE courses apart from the others?  Not only do we offer a weekend in an immaculate off-grid backcountry hut, we also provide the meals!  By choosing the hut-based setting, you’ll have the opportunity to pick your instructors brains during fireside chats in the evening.

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Backcountry Huts - Anna's Cabin
Carner's Cabin
Backcountry Hut Near Fremont Pass

Carner’s Cabin is a private completely off-grid, private backcountry hut and located on the Continental Divide at an elevation of 11,700 ft. Surrounded by thousands of acres of San Isabel National Forest, there are no other structures for miles, and none in sight, for a very remote feeling retreat that’s only 1.8 miles from the highway and parking area.

Carner’s Cabin is a great base camp for backcountry adventures on the high Colorado trails. Wildlife sightings are very common. No electricity or running water – bring your own bottled water or melt snow on the wood burning stove. Indoor composting toilet facilities. Propane gas cook stove, kitchen utensils (pots, pans, etc.), and oil lamps provided. Bring your own headlamp, hut booties, sleeping bag, pillowcase and toothbrush. Capacity at Carner’s is 8 students.

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Francies Cabin
Backcountry Hut South of Breckenridge

Huts Foundation, Francie’s Cabin is the most popular hut in Colorado. Francie’s Cabin, built in 1994, is situated near 11,300ft in the popular Crystal Lakes drainage of the Ten-Mile Range. This stunning cabin is named for Frances Lockwood Bailey, a former resident of Breckenridge who died in a tragic plane crash in 1989.

Francies books up very quickly and is a sought after hut experience. The cabin is equipped with firewood, propane cook tops, cooking and eating utensils (pots/pans/plates/flatware/mugs/glasses), toilet paper, paper towels, and cleaning supplies. As with most winter huts, snowmelt is used for a water supply. Capacity at Francies is 18 students.

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Backcountry Huts - Francies Cabin
Broome Hut
Located near Berthoud Pass

Owned and operated by the Grand Huts Association, the Broome Hut, originally called the Second Creek Hut, in the Second Creek Basin on the west side of Berthoud Pass, Colorado is one of the finest high altitude skiing and hiking locales in Colorado. Ease of access and great skiing make for excellent backcountry recreation opportunities.

The Broome Hut has some unique amenities which include a pellet stove instead of a woodburning heat stove. It is very easy to operate and has clear instructions posted at the hut. The hut has indoor composting toilets similar to Janet’s Cabin and Francie’s Cabin. There is also a day-use room at the hut but it is totally separated from the overnight area and they share no amenities. Broome Hut capacity is 12 students.

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Broome Hut
Sisters Hut
Located just East of Breckenridge

The fifth overnight backcountry hut in the Summit Huts system, the 14-person Sisters Cabin was built in 2018 and currently operates as a winter-only hut from November through April. Funded by the The Sturm Family Foundation, Sisters Cabin celebrates the close bonds amongst Sue Sturm, an avid backcountry hut user, and her close-knit group of female friends that have formed and flourished in the shared joys of backcountry skiing adventures, hence the “Sisters” moniker.

Sisters Cabin incorporates state-of-the-art design and green-building techniques to minimize environmental impact and offer guests an experience similar to those they have come to expect at Summit Huts larger flagship huts. Sisters hut capacity is 12 students.

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Sisters Cabin
Decision Making in Avalanche Terrain

Avalanche Terrain is a three-part program for individuals who enjoy winter recreation in the backcountry. The entire Decision Making in Avalanche Terrain program includes seven days of classroom, field, and self-paced online training. The curriculum is typically delivered in the following parts: the AIARE 1 (3 days), Avalanche Rescue (1 day), and the AIARE 2 (3 days).

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Avalanche Education
Why Choose Us?

Traveling in the backcountry requires a solid understanding of avalanche risk and the knowledge to mitigate these risks through appropriate terrain assessment and decision making. Our local team of AIARE certified leaders and instructors are passionate about where we live, work, and teach and have an intimate relationship with the local terrain and snowpack conditions where we operate. Other perks of taking a course with us include;

  • 10% off Desert Mountain Medicine Wilderness First Aid Courses
  • 15% off all advanced AIARE courses or a guided ski/splitboard tour
  • FREE use of Ortovox avalanche equipment
  • Discount on the newest DPS and Weston ski and splitboard demos
  • Discounted nearby lodging
  • Certified, passionate, and personable instructors
  • We operate in high quality and true backcountry terrain
  • Multiple course options and dates throughout the season
  • A minimum of 24 hours of coursework. With us you get what you pay for!
  • Access to all CAG snow safety videos throughout the season
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Hut Based AIARE 1 Course Outline


E-Learning materials and Student Manual for AIARE Level 1 are sent one month prior to course

Day 1

Field Session: Travel to hut, settle in, and learn companion rescue.

Day 2
Field Session

Classroom/Field Session: Classroom at hut and afternoon field session to learn how to make relevant observations in the field

Day 3
Field Application

Field Session: Hut breakdown, student led tour, and course close

General Info

Course Duration

3 days (24+ hrs)


2024/2025 Course dates as follows; 

  • Jan 10th-12th, 2025 @ Sisters Hut
  • Jan 17th-19th, 2025 @ Broome Hut SOLD OUT
  • Feb 7th-9th, 2025 @ Francies Hut SOLD OUT
  • Feb 17th-19th, 2025 @ Sisters Hut SOLD OUT
  • Feb 24th-26th, 2025 @ Broome Hut
  • Mar 7th-9th, 2025 @ Broome Hut
  • Mar 24th-26th, 2025 @ Francies Hut

$995 per person

Student:Instructor Ratio

6 Students:1 Instructor


Carners Cabin, Francies Cabin, Sisters Hut, or Broome Hut

Silverthorne Basecamp:

204 Ryan Gulch Rd Silverthorne, CO 80498

Required Equipment

Backcountry Packing List

Avalanche Beacon

Avalanche Probe

Avalanche Shovel

Overnight sized backpack (approx. 60L – 70L)

Alpine Touring Skis, Telemark Skis, or Splitboard

Climbing Skins (must be properly fitted)


Helmet (optional)

Sleeping Bag

Recommended Clothing

Hard or softshell pants

Synthetic or merino wool base layer

Softshell jacket (optional)

Down or synthetic insulated jacket

Hardshell or water/wind resistant jacket

Light gloves for uphill travel

Warm gloves

Brimmed hat or visor


Neck gaitor or buff

Rental Gear

Backcountry gear can be rented directly from Colorado Adventure Guides at our Silvethorne, CO Basecamp.

Local Accommodations

Joining CAG for a Summit based adventure? Check out our partners at The Pad, Silverthorne’s first boutique hotel/hostel, centrally-located along the Blue River, in the heart of Colorado ski country. Built for the modern traveler, their affordable, yet high-amenity, lodging in beautiful Summit County, Colorado allows our guests to prioritize experience, adventure and to focus their spending on activities and experiences in the Rocky Mountains and our community. Just ask the folks at CAG for details or click the button below for 10% off your stay!

The Pad
Reschedule/Cancellation Policy

Refunds will be honored for cancellations more than 14 DAYS PRIOR to a course or a camp start time. An administrative fee of 10% will be assessed for all cancellations.

All activities are Rain or Shine. In case of operator cancellation due to adverse or unsafe conditions prior to start time, first the operator will attempt to reschedule. If rescheduling is not possible, the client will receive a full refund. Operator, including guides in the field, reserve the right to shorten or reroute activity in the case of unmanageable hazards or inability of guest to complete the objective. Completion of objective-based routes is not guaranteed.

Rescheduling will be honored 14 days prior to AIARE Level 1 start date. An administrative fee of 10% will be assessed for all rescheduling. This allows us the time to contact those who have been put on the wait-list.


AIARE Level 1 can be taken on alpine touring skis or splitboard. It is a requirement that participants are familiar with their touring gear and have experience on their setup prior to taking this course. Alpine touring skis and splitboards are available for rent from our Silverthorne, CO basecamp.

Students on skis or boards must be comfortable in steep blue to black terrain at the ski resort.

Students should be able to travel off-trail on ungroomed or unmaintained terrain and bring appropriate equipment for traveling on snow.

Don’t know how to use your touring gear yet? Sign up for one of our 1-day Intro to Backcountry Ski or Splitboard Courses!

Price Includes
  • 2 nights in the hut
  • Breakfast & Dinner
  • AIARE Certified Course Leader and Instructors
  • 24-hour course with a 6:1 maximum instructor to student ratio
  • Student manual and weather-proof AIARE field book
  • Use of beacon, shovel and probe (if needed)
Price Does Not Include
  • Air­fare
  • Accommodations
  • Trans­porta­tion to and from designated meeting place
  • Food for lunch and snacks
  • Clothing and gear (see FAQ for recommendations)
  • Guide gra­tu­ities
  • Travel insurance (we recommend World Nomads)
Perks of Taking AIARE 1 with CAG
  • 10% off Desert Mountain Medicine
  • Trailhead membership to CAIC
  • 15% off all advanced AIARE courses or a guided ski/splitboard tour
  • Discount on ORTOVOX Avalanche Equipment
  • Access to all CAG snow safety videos throughout the season

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you tell me more about the hut we'll be staying in?

CAG has partnered with the Summit Huts Association as well as other private hut properties to offer backcountry ski/splitboard and hut trip education! Our first hut partner is Carner’s Cabin, situated at 11,700 feet elevation just south of Fremont Pass, between Copper Mountain and Leadville. This easily accessible hut offers spectacular vistas and ideal seclusion. Our 2nd hut option will be at Francie’s Cabin. This large modern hut is located just south of Breckenridge in the heart of Summit County and is easily accessed on non-motorized trails via skis or splitboard. These huts provide semi-private sleeping rooms and are perfect for beginner backcountry travelers.

How physically fit do I need to be for this course?

Colorado Adventure Guides is priority is keeping our patrons and students safe. Our instructors are trained to recognize potentially hazardous situations in the backcountry; they plan and operate accordingly. Prior to the start of any course or backcountry trip you will be asked to complete a brief health history. The failure to disclose pertinent information on the health history form could result in serious harm, even death, to the signing participant, other guests and/or the guide. All information submitted is completely confidential; it is for the guide’s use and would only be shared in the event of an emergency with medical and/or rescue personnel directly caring for the guest. This can be a physically demanding course, and your ability to enjoy the adventure depends on your health and fitness, thus it’s recommended that you are in good physical condition.

What if I would like to book a private group course?

For those who would like to select all the members of their party, you may book a private group course. If you are interested, please let us know!

When and how do I meet up with the group?

Your instructor will contact you at least 2 weeks prior to course start to discuss details.

Should I tip my instructor?

Your instructors work hard before, during, and after your course to provide you with a great experience and while not expected, gratuities are always highly appreciated and if you had a safe, educational, and fun experience. Gratuities typically range from 15-20%.

Avalanche Education Articles


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Other Winter Courses
Intro to Backcountry Touring
Skiing & Splitboarding
Intro to Backcountry
AIARE Avalanche Companion Rescue
Companion Avalanche Rescue
AIARE Rescue
Backcountry Education Avalanche Courses
Avalanche Safety Course
AIARE Level 2 Avalanche Education Course
Snow stability & avalanche hazard
AIARE Level 2
Book AIARE 1 Hut Based Today!
Book online or call today to reserve your spot

Our AIARE 1 hut based courses have limited capacity and tend to book up months in advance. It is strongly recommended that you reserve your spot before the winter season starts.

204 Ryan Gulch Rd Silverthorne, CO 80498

(970) 893-8007


    204 Ryan Gulch Rd Silverthorne, CO 80498


    (970) 893-8007

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