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AIARE Avalanche Courses: Durango & San Juans Colorado
Southwest Adventure Guides has been offering formal avalanche courses since 1992. We have taught hundreds of backcountry skiers and snowboarders as well as mountain guides and ski patrollers needing to meet industry requirements. In recent years, great achievments have been made with curriculum development. Combined with our many years of teaching experience this has helped us to bring you the most sophisticated and useful classroom presentations and field instruction to best help decision making while in avalanche terrain.
The snowpack of the San Juan Mountains between Durango and Ouray, CO provides the ideal location to conduct our field training sessions. The San Juan Mountains are known throughout the world for the complicated nature of the snowpack and readily observable avalanche conditions and phenomenon. They truly define the meaning of a continental snowpack.
"Some girlfriends and myself decided to take an Avy 1 Class to prepare ourselves for some backcountry turns. We were recommended Southwest Adventure Guides and were not let down! These guys do a great job of introducing newbies, such as myself, to the potential dangers of backcountry travel and to the fun possibilities of educated decision making. I would definitely recommend this class to anyone who is looking to travel high in the winter!"
- Laura P.
Course Instructors & The SWAG Difference
Our AIARE Avalanche Courses are taught by highly experienced professional ski and mountain guides as well as avalanche consultants. All of our lead instructors are Certified Level 3 AIARE course graduates and have also completed AMGA Ski Guide and AIARE instructor training courses. For years, they have been making difficult decisions in managing groups through challenging backcounty terrain in complex snowpack conditions.
As guides first and foremost, they have great experience in understanding the complex dynamics of the many important variables including the important human factor elements that affect good and bad decisions in hazardous avalanche terrain. As professional guides they are passionate about sharing with you the focus of avalanche awareness as part of the quality of experience the snow in the San Juans has to offer.
*If our scheduled courses do not fit your needs, we can also schedule private dates for groups of 4 or more.
Level 1 Avalanche Course - Decision Making in Avalanche Terrain
Our 3 day AIARE Qualified Level 1 Avalanche Course provides a complete introduction to the avalanche phenomenon, avalanche terrain, decision making, and rescue protocol.
Level 1 Avalanche Course - Hut Based - New in 2012!
Want to make your Level 1 Course experience the best it can be? Want lodging included in the course cost? Want a smaller class size and more personalized instruction? Then join us at the Alladin's Lamp Hut on Molas Pass for an unforgettable experience that will prepare you for future backcountry missions like no other. Course fees include 2 nights lodging and food!
Level 1 Professional Avalanche Course - New 4 day Program!
Put our Level 1 Avalanche Course and our Intro to Backcountry Skiing Course together and you get a one-of-a-kind backcountry course perfectly suited to the recreational enthuiast or prospective guide who's looking for maximum value from a course. Course fees include 3 nights lodging and food!
Level 2 Avalanche Course - Analyzing Snow Stability and Avalanche Hazard
Our AIARE Qualified Level 2 Avalanche Course is a 4 day program that provides backcountry travellers the opporunity to advance their avalanche knowledge and decision making skills. Course cost includes 3 nights lodging at the Addies S Cabin on Red Mountain Pass!
Level 1 Refresher Course- Update Your Avalanche Training
Specifically designed for participants who may have taken a Level 1 Avalanche Course previously and would like to update their familiarity with current standards and refresh their understanding of the avalanche phenomenon.