Hut Based Level 1: Decision Making in Avalanche Terrain

Three Sisters Backcountry offers AIARE Avalanche Courses in a hut based format at Tam McArthur Rim outside Sisters, Oregon. With varied terrain, elevations and aspects, the avalanche conditions can range from simple to complex.

We have moved away from the standard 8-hour a day courses to exclusively offer a full immersion hut-based backcountry experience. This allows us more time to conduct our lessons out in the snow. Less Powerpoint, more time on skis. This is the best way to learn… and the most fun!

Course Standards:


Level 1 courses are recommended for everyone who enjoys playing or recreating in avalanche terrain. This course informs general users of potential backcountry hazards and builds the foundation for the aspiring professional.

  • Provide a basic understanding of avalanches.
  • Describe a framework for decision making and risk management in avalanche terrain.
  • Focus on identifying the right questions, rather than on providing “answers.”
  • Give lessons and exercises that are practically oriented, useful, and applicable in the field.
  • You must have the ability to travel in winter backcountry terrain.
  • Telemark, Alpine Touring Skis or Split Snowboard with skins are the preferred equipment.
  • December 16-18, 2017  FULL
  • December 29-31, 2017  FULL
  • January 15-17, 2018 FULL
  • February 14-16, 2018 FULL
  • March 28-30, 2018 FULL
  • April 13-15, 2018 FULL
  • Reservations are first come first served
  • Book up to one year in advance
  • 50% deposit due to hold your reservation; balance due first day of course.
  • There are no refunds for cancellations, including for poor weather or injury.
  • If you do cancel, your balance is still due in full.
  • If TSBC cancels the course for any reason, we will issue a full refund.
  • If you are concerned you might need to cancel, please purchase travel insurance. Some of our clients have successfully used
  • Two nights lodging in our backcountry huts.
  • Classroom instruction & discussion every morning and evening in the hut.
  • Includes required texts and field books.
  • Roundtrip snowmobile portage. However, snowmobile transportation will not be available during the course except for emergencies so plan on spending three full days in the backcountry.

Participants must provide their own meals. The hut is equipped with a full kitchen and cook stoves.

Cost: $530 per student