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:


All courses are FULL for the 2016/17 season.

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.

We provide topo maps at the Huts for you to plan your daily adventures.

Use this map for driving directions to our Field Office:
Field Office Location Map

Use this map to begin exploring the terrain around the huts:
Tam Rim Huts Location Map

  • December 16-18, 2016  FULL
  • December 28-30, 2016 FULL
  • January 16-18, 2017 FULL
  • February 12-14, 2017 FULL
  • March 21-23, 2017 FULL
  • April 7-9, 2017 FULL
  • Reservations are first come first served
  • Book up to one year in advance
  • 50% deposit due to hold your reservation; balance due 2 weeks prior to start
  • There are no refunds for cancellations, including for poor weather or injury.
  • If you are concerned you might need to cancel, please purchase travel insurance. Some of our clients have successfully used travelgaurd.com
  • 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: $525 per student