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Winter Peak Ascents in Colorado Backcountry Blog

Colorado Adventure Guides
AIARE Courses Proven Effective in Recent Study

AIARE Courses Proven Effective


AIARE Courses Proven Effective at Increasing Avalanche Preparedness Practices


Avalanche Small Team Rescue Techniques

AIARE Course Effectiveness Case Study


The American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education, AIARE, the leading provider of recreational avalanche education in the United States, conducted a first-of-its-kind study with Eastern Oregon University indicating that students who participate in AIARE courses increase their frequency of practicing safe backcountry behaviors after their courses.


Colorado Adventure Guides is passionate about teaching avalanche safety, and to reach more backcountry travelers, we’re increasing our classes this year. To teach snow safety, we use the AIARE curriculum for many reasons,  including that it provides a framework for a repeatable process that backcountry touring partners can use to assess adverse conditions and terrain. 

But now we have another reason to choose AIARE-based courses: it’s been proven effective. AIARE hired the University to reach out to 1,700 students who’d take a course within the last 3 years to ask them if what they’d learned had made a difference in their backcountry practices. It had:

61% reported that they’d practiced rescue skills once or twice in the season after the class. 

They more often check if they have appropriate rescue gear including communication devices.

They were more likely to review emergency plans with their comrades.

They more often told people where they were going in case they did not return on time.

They were more likely to practice safety protocols like choosing travel techniques to reduce avalanche exposure, noticing signs of unstable conditions, and were more likely to review with partners the day’s decisions after the outing.

These habits make it less likely that an individual and group will encounter avalanche conditions unexpectedly. Repetition, especially of rescue skills, makes it more likely that students will perform the necessary tasks faster in a critical situation. AIARE curriculum teaches how groups should handle human dynamics, as well. Good decisions are not just based on snow science! 
AIARE reports that this is the first study of its kind! Powder Magazine published a summary of the study, and you can read more about it here at AIARE’s site. Go here to learn more about our winter education program.


Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our friendly booking team, who are ready to assist you with any inquiries and guarantee your spot in an AIARE course at Colorado Adventure Guides. You can choose to reserve your spot online or give us a call to confirm your booking.

(970) 893-8007

Matt Espy
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