Essential Eligibility Criteria

The health and well-being of our students and staff as well as providing the highest quality avalanche education are our priorities.  

AIARE course travel takes place in remote locations, is dynamic, and is, oftentimes, mentally rigorous.  Participants must be able to endure strenuous environments. The inherent nature of the course location and content require students to be fully committed to and capable of working hard, taking responsibility for themselves, and working effectively in the group to achieve the educational goals of the course.

To participate in an AIARE Instructor or Professional Training course, you must meet the Essential Eligibility Criteria (EEC).

The following apply to all AIARE field courses: 

Each participant must:

  1. Be able to stay alert and to focus for eight to twelve hours at a time for up to six days while in classroom, virtual and/or outdoor settings.
  2. Be able to participate in virtual sessions using video – this includes possessing sufficient technology and technological skills to do so as well as being located with sufficient bandwidth to support video interaction.
  3. Work cooperatively as a member of a group and support a team approach, despite potentially challenging circumstances. This may require flexibility and the ability to compromise on an interpersonal or group level. 
  4. Contribute to a safe learning environment—no inappropriate behavior, verbal or physical, of others is tolerated for any reason.
  5. Be able to travel through mountainous terrain and variable snow conditions, both uphill and downhill on the course mode of travel.  If on skis (AT or telemark) or splitboards, you must be able to travel efficiently by ascending 900-1200 ft/hour. If on a snowmachine, expert riding ability and be proficient with sidehilling, navigating through dense timber, and be accustomed to traveling long distances over varying terrain. 
  6. Be able to independently identify and recognize environmental hazards. These hazards may include, but are not limited to, falling objects/rocks, loose rock and unstable surfaces, rugged steep and uneven terrain, cliff edges, crevasses, snow fall.
  7. Recognize and understand the hazards and risks posed by other course participants, which include, but are not limited to, fatigue, state of mind, and actions that may influence judgment and decision-making.
  8. Effectively communicate ideas and concerns on an individual and group level.
  9. Travel during periods of inclement weather for an extended period of time and act reliably around hazards to minimize risk when not directly supervised.
  10. Be able to withstand cold temperatures (-20 degrees F or colder).
  11. Be able to competently use an avalanche transceiver and efficiently move over avalanche debris without skis, splitboard, or snowmobile.
  12. Perform necessary self-care, including maintaining adequate nutrition and hydration, dressing appropriately for environmental conditions, managing known medical conditions, and proactively reducing the spread of any infectious disease.
  13. Be able to shovel in order to conduct a rescue, engage in educational practice, and/or exams.
  14. Practice Leave No Trace traveling techniques.