Monday, October 3, 2016

Winter 2016-17 Stevens Pass AIARE Level 1 & 2 Avalanche Course Dates

With winter approaching, now is the time to schedule and book your AIARE Level 1 and AIARE Level 2 Avalanche Courses. We have posted the dates for all winter 2016-17 AIARE Level 1 and 2 Avalanche programs on our website and are currently taking bookings.  All programs have limited enrollment and we have been selling out on most dates for the past 4 years.

NMS skiers using safe travel techniques in the Italian Alps
AIARE Level 1 Course: This course involves 24 hours of total course time with all classroom sessions taking place at the Sleeping Lady Mountain Resort and all field activities taking in the Stevens Pass Backcountry. The course cost is $340 per participant and includes all course materials as well as a single-ride lift ticket (if needed) at Stevens Pass Mountain Resort.

AIARE Level 1 Classroom at Sleeping Lady Mountain Resort

2016-17 AIARE Level 1 Dates


  • Dec. 2-4, 2016
  • Dec. 9-11, 2016
  • Dec. 16-18, 2016
  • January 6-8, 2017
  • Jan 14-16, 2017 (MLK)
  • Jan 20-22, 2017
  • Jan 27-29, 2017
  • February 3-5, 2017
  • February 10-12, 2017
  • February 18-20 (President's)
  • March 3-5, 2017
  • Custom Dates Also Available
AIARE Level 2 Course: Our AIARE Level 2 courses will once again be led by our experienced staff, which includes Harlan Sheppard, Ian Nicholson, and Dallas Glass.  In addition to experience as a heli-guide and ski patroller, Harland is currently working full-time each winter as a forecaster for the Washington State Department of Transportation as one of the forecasters for US highway 2 and Stevens Pass.  Ian Nicholson is an IFMGA guide and NWAC field observer and one of the more experienced instructors in the the Pacific Northwest. Dallas Glass is also an NWAC observer, mountaineering guide and Education Committee member for the American Avalanche Association. Harlan, Ian, and Dallas, are assisted by IFMGA guides Olivia Race and Nick Pope. For winter 2016-17 we are offering two formats: 1. A split date format allowing students to complete the course on two successive weekends, and a straight format where the course is presented in 4 consecutive days running from Thursday-Sunday. The course cost is $525

Skiing the backcountry of Hokkaido Japan

2016-17 AIARE Level 2 Dates


  • January 7-8 & 14-15, 2017
  • February 2-5, 2017
  • Custom Dates Available
Transition on NMS Avalanche Course - Stevens Pass Backcountry
Why take your AIARE Avalanche Course with the Northwest Mountain School?
  1. All of our instructors are also avid backcountry users and working ski guides. In addition to teaching these courses each of our instructors is ski touring multiple times per week, or even daily when the snow is good. Is addition to ski guiding, our guides have yearly guiding experience on objectives as big as 8000-meter peaks, Denali, Rainier, Baker, Adams, and other common PNW climbing and skiing destinations.
  2. We have run at least 2 AIARE Level 2 courses per year and 11-13 AIARE Level 1 each season. This allows us to constantly refine and improve our courses.
  3. Our courses are designed to tie into other NMS programs such is Introduction to Alpine Ski Touring, Intermediate Alpine Ski Touring, Powder Betty Women's Backcountry Ski Camp, and our European Ski Tours.
  4. Our teaching venue at Sleeping Lady Mountain Resort is an award wining, green leaning, resort and conference facility second to none in Central Washington.
  5. We carry top of the line Ortovox digital avalanche beacons, Black Diamond probes, Black Diamond shovels, and rent AT ski setups with Dynafit and Black Diamond bindings mounted on lightweight touring skis of all lengths from Sportiva, K2, and Black Diamond.
If you have any questions feel free to give us a call at 509-548-5823, or visit our courses pages at AIARE Level 1 Avalanche Course or AIARE Level 2 Avalanche Course.

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