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We are proud to be a provider for the American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education (AIARE). For the 2018-2019 season we will offer AIARE avalanche 1 and avalanche rescue courses.  We are also pround to offer students free use of BCA avalanche safety equipment on all of our courses.  We also have BCA shovels, probes, and beacons to rent for personal use. 


Course goals and pre-requisites:

The AIARE 1 is a three-day / 24-hour introduction to avalanche hazard management, and will include a combination of lectures and field sessions. Students can expect to develop a good grounding in how to prepare for and carry out a backcountry trip, to understand basic decision making while in the field, and to learn rescue techniques required to find and dig up a buried person (if an avalanche occurs and someone in the party is caught). The AIARE 1 is for current or aspiring backcountry skiers and snowboarders who want to recreate in or near avalanche terrain. Students must be able to travel in avalanche terrain on either backcountry skis or a splitboard. There are no other prerequisites. 

Equipment and Logistics:

  • Touring Gear: Splitboards, alpine touring, and telemark ski packages are REQUIRED for all our of courses, and are available to rent at a 50% discount (limited availability, reserve early!).

  • Avalanche rescue gear (beacon, shovel, and probe) use is included in the price but it is your responsibility to reserve gear ahead of time (limited availability, reserve early!).

  • Transportation, instruction, and lift passes (as applicable) are all included in the price.

  • You will recieve an email with additional information approximately 1 week before the start date of your course.  

We offer THREE options for the level 1 course for 2018-2019:

Option 1: We are partnering with Yurtski Backcountry Lodging and Skiing and will be based out of a yurt in the Southern Swan Mountains, about a 4-hour drive from campus. 

The price includes instruction, lodging, and transportation, including a gear haul + tow service that will bring the group across all but 1.5 miles of the 8-mile ski in. Once settled, the group will have access to a huge variety of ski terrain, and by eliminating driving time you will have an opportunity to maximize your learning and skiing! 
Check out more about the venue here:

*Cost: $450 for students, $600 for faculty/staff/alumni


Dec. 16-19, 2018


Option 2: Our regularly scheduled courses utilize venues in the Bozeman area, including the sidecountry of Bridger Bowl. The price includes all transportation, instruction, and lift passes.

*Cost: $300 for students, $450 for faculty/staff/alumni


Jan 19-21, 2019

Feb 16-18, 2019


Option 3: ERTH 102CS-003 – Topics in Earth Sciences: Snow Science: The Theory and Practice, 1-credit, CRN32612

Course Description: The Outdoor Recreation Program is partnering with the Earth Sciences Department to put on a 1-credit AIARE avalanche 1 course. This course requires a total of approximately 32 hours as compared to a traditional 24-hour avalanche 1 course.  Students can expect to go a little deeper into snow science topics and concepts. In order to register for this course you must also register for the course using an add/drop form.  Contact Dan Sandberg at to do so.

Class Title:

ERTH 102CS-003 – Topics in Earth Sciences: Snow Science: The Theory and Practice

Class Beginning:

February 19, 2019

Class Ending:

March 3, 2019

Class Meeting


Feb. 19 1-5pm (classroom)
Feb 21 1-5pm (Bridger Bowl)
Feb. 26 1-5pm (classroom)
Feb. 28 1-5pm (Bridger Bowl)
March 2, 8:00am to 5:30pm (Backcountry location)
March 3, 8:00am to 5:30pm (Backcountry location)

This is aPass/Fail course. Attendance is required at all classroom and field sessions. 


Classroom sessions on Tuesdays meet at Gaines Room 140.

Field days on Thursdays and on March 2 and 3 meet at the Outdoor Recreation Center, 1401 W Lincoln St.

*Locations subject to change


Instructor: Dan Sandberg and Jordy Hendrikx 

Transportation on field days: transportation is provided and group meets at Outdoor Recreation building for departure.

ADDITIONAL FEES: $250: Register seperately with Outdoor Recreation Program by calling 406-994-3621 or by stopping in to the Outdoor Recreation Center.  

Avalanche Rescue Course

The AIARE Avalanche Rescue Course is a one-day stand alone course that is intended to be retaken on a regular basis in order to keep abreast of best practices in rescue techniques and gear. New participants will learn the basics of companion rescue, while returning participants will expand their skill set with advanced topics and realistic scenario practice to help improve their skills.

Each participant will have the opportunity to receive professional coaching on their rescue skills, and will receive a rescue card acknowledging the completion date.

AIARE Avalanche Rescue is a prerequisite for the AIARE 2 and Pro 1 courses. AIARE recommends that all backcountry travelers keep their skills current by taking an Avalanche Rescue course and receiving a rescue card at least every other year.

Who Should Take this Course

The Avalanche Rescue Course is a one-day course aimed both at new and experienced recreational backcountry travelers and aspiring avalanche professionals.

*Cost: $100 for students, $150 for faculty/staff/alumni


Jan 8, 2019