Course Leader Training

Course Description

The AIARE Course Leader Training (CLT) is a five-day course that trains highly-experienced AIARE Instructors to lead Avalanche Awareness, Avalanche Rescue, AIARE 1, and AIARE 2 courses. Participants will apply their operational risk management skills and experience as AIARE Instructors while learning how to create positive learning environments for AIARE course students. Participants will use their deep understanding of the AIARE curriculum to learn how to manage a team of instructors to meet the learning outcomes of the AIARE curriculum.

Participants are assessed for their readiness to lead AIARE courses on the CLT course and will receive feedback on their risk management and instructional skills. Individuals who are assessed as ready to course lead and have a current or pending professional membership with A3 will be able to apply for AIARE Course Leader status. Individuals who are assessed as not yet ready to lead AIARE courses will work with AIARE staff to create an individualized plan to develop the necessary course leader skills. 

For more detailed information about requirements, see the AIARE Instructor Qualifications document.


Prerequisites for the Course Leader Training include:

  1. 7 seasons of winter backcountry experience involving leadership and decision making in avalanche terrain
  2. Significant experience instructing AIARE 1, 2, and Avalanche Rescue courses
  3. Letter of recommendation from an AIARE Course Leader outlining readiness to lead courses, competence delivering AIARE curriculum, and skills leading avalanche course participants in the field
  4. PRO 2 certificate or equivalent
  5. Currency with AIARE Instructor dues and continuing education requirements


The application period for the 2020-21 season has closed. All courses are currently full, however we will still accept applications and place you on a waitlist. 

The application period is generally open for three weeks in August prior to the winter season in which you are applying. Only complete applications (those having fulfilled all the prerequisites) will be able to register. Please take this into consideration when planning your work and education this winter season.

Complete Applications Receive Priority

We will prioritize complete applications. Please ensure that your profile, which you can view by logging in at, reflects that you have significant experience instructing AIARE 1, 2 AND Avalanche Rescue Courses. If you have questions about your profile, please contact AIARE’s Office Manager, Don Svela.

To apply for the Course Leader Training, please be ready to submit the following in a digital format:

  • A completed resume form that details 7 seasons of backcountry experience involving leadership and decision making in avalanche terrain. 
  • A letter of recommendation using this form from a current AIARE Course Leader you have worked with that speaks to your readiness to become a course leader.
  • Your PRO 2 certificate (or equivalent – email Pro Program Director Sean Zimmerman-Wall if you feel you have equivalent training). If you took your course from AIARE (either a PRO 2 or an AIARE 3), this will show up in your profile. If you took your course from another provider, you will need to provide a PDF or JPEG of your certificate.

You will also be asked to fill out a brief medical form and provide emergency contact information.

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Finalize Your Enrollment

We will notify applicants of their registration status by August 28. In addition to making payment, you will be asked to sign and/or acknowledge reading the following in order to finalize your enrollment:

  • AIARE’s course cancellation policy. Please review this policy so that you understand non-refundable costs associated with these courses. We strongly encourage you to purchase trip insurance.
  • Acknowledgement of essential eligibility
  • AIARE’s code of conduct. Please read AIARE’s code of conduct and ethics for AIARE Providers and Instructors. AIARE does not tolerate discrimination, harassment, and bullying in any form. AIARE expects participants on it courses to contribute to and uphold a positive learning environment in line with the values described in our code of conduct.
  • AIARE’s COVID-19 Disclosure

Course Dates and Venue Details

A special note about the 2020-21 season in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic:

The following courses represent our planned offerings for the coming season.  We have intentionally limited course sizes and chosen venues where we can use local instructors and promote more regional attendance. We have also suspended lodge based programming. You can review our COVID Updates and Course Cancellation pages to answer questions related to AIARE’s response and anticipated actions.  

We will do everything in our power to ensure courses are able to happen next year. Our priorities are the safety of our staff and course participants, in addition to ensuring we achieve the same high course quality as previous years. Course format is  still under consideration and efforts to reduce close-contact classroom settings are a priority. This may include using Zoom to conduct meetings and classroom sessions and limiting participants face to face interactions with only one instructor trainer. We will maintain communications from the time you register to keep you apprised of the format of the course.

Regardless of course format, precourse work will be required of all course participants. More information will be communicated upon acceptance, but plan for at least 4-5 hours of precourse work developing lessons and other materials for use on the CLT.

South Lake Tahoe, CA – Venue Details
Date: January 21-25, 2021
Cost: $1250
Classroom:Lake Tahoe Community College
Field: El Dorado National Forest venues south of South Lake Tahoe

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We recognize that cost is a barrier for professionals in the avalanche world advancing their training. Several new organizations have partnered with AIARE to offer scholarships this year. Please visit AIARE’s Scholarship Page for a detailed list of the exciting scholarship opportunities we have for the coming season. We look forward to continuing to grow  this list.