The AIARE Avalanche Rescue course is a one-day, stand-alone training designed to keep backcountry users abreast of best practices in rescue techniques and gear. Participants will review the basics of companion rescue before expanding their skill set with more advanced topics and realistic scenario practice. Each participant will have the opportunity to receive professional coaching on their rescue skills and will receive a rescue card acknowledging completion date at course end. The AIARE Avalanche Rescue is a prerequisite for the AIARE 2 and Pro 1 courses. SMG and AIARE recommend that all backcountry travelers keep their skills current by taking an Avalanche Rescue Course and receiving a rescue card at least every other year.

The Synnott Mountain Guides AIARE classes are led by Mark Synnott (AMGA/IFMGA Mountain Guide) and Nick Aiello-Popeo (AIARE 3 Certified & AIARE Instructor). Mark, Nick, and the other instructors are able to not only teach the AIARE standard curriculum, but also draw on their own personal experiences and passion for avalanche awareness to prepare you for your own adventures.

The AIARE Avalanche Rescue course cost is $165 and avalanche safety equipment (transceiver/shovel/probe) will be provided by SMG for use during the course (however, you are encouraged to bring your own). The course is best booked online, but you may also book via email or phone. You may book multiple people and pay in one order, but please complete this booking form for each person so we have full details. If you have a group and would like to setup a custom AIARE Avalanche Rescue course, please contact us.

2020/2021 AIARE Avalanche Rescue course dates are now available. Please carefully read the following notes:

  • We are running courses from early January 2021 through early March 2021. The AIARE Avalanche Rescue courses are often scheduled the day before AIARE 1 courses, so you can take both in the same long weekend.
  • There are 12 spots available in each course. The number of available spots will be shown when you choose dates and is automatically updated.
  • On field days, each group consisting of 1 instructor and 4-6 students will stay spaced out from the other group and you’ll travel with the same group each day. Within groups, we’ll space out farther than 6′ whenever possible, but face coverings will be required when that isn’t possible.
  • Please read the info further down this page: Full Course Description, Schedule, and FAQs – Winter 2020/2021. Feel free to contact SMG if you have questions!


  • What will be your mode of travel during the course (ski or board w/ skins, snowshoes)?
  • Do you have or plan to purchase avalanche rescue gear (beacon/shovel/probe) or will you need to borrow from SMG?
  • We'll be in touch to work out specific details, but please briefly describe your outdoor background (relative to the course or guiding objective) and goals.
  • Please read and check the box if you agree to the policies.

    Online Bookings
    After receiving your online booking, we will get back to you within 1 business day via phone or email to confirm your booking. In the event that we cannot accommodate your booking, you have the option of having your payment refunded or applied to a future booking.

    SMG accepts credit cards, PayPal, checks, and cash. Payment for AIARE courses is due in full at the time of booking. An exception is made for payment by check or these cases, payment is due in full at or before the course.

    If you have to cancel your booking, please give us as much notice as possible. If you cancel 30+ days before the booking, we’ll apply the deposit/payment towards another booking at a later date or you can request a refund. If you cancel from 14-29 days before the booking, we’ll apply the deposit/payment towards another booking at a later date. If you cancel 13 days or sooner from the booking, for any reason, the deposit/payment is forfeited.

    Weather & Winter
    Winter courses/trips are rain or shine. If SMG cancels a booking due to weather, we will reschedule you for an alternate date of your choice.

Course Information

Student Learning Outcomes

During the Avalanche Rescue course, we will train students to:

  • Describe what to do if they — or a member of their party — is caught in an avalanche
  • Identify and operate gear necessary for avalanche rescue.
  • Set up a realistic scenario in order to practice an avalanche rescue response.
  • Improve response skills and times during and after the course with feedback from instructors and peers.
  • Develop a plan for continued practice

Students who have previously taken an AIARE 1 or an Avalanche Rescue Course will find value in having a professional help them set up a realistic scenario, practice skills in a realistic setting, receive feedback from an instructor, keep up with current best practices, and have an opportunity to practice advanced rescue skills.

Who Should Take this Course?
The Avalanche Rescue Course is aimed both at new and experienced recreationists, as well as aspiring mountain professionals.

Students must be able to travel in the snow, and bring appropriate equipment (backcountry skis, splitboard, snowshoes, etc.) for traveling on snow to class. There are no other prerequisites.

Required equipment for all avalanche courses:
  • Ski socks
  • Long underwear top and bottom
  • Fleece or softshell pants
  • Fleece Jacket
  • Hard shell (Gore-Tex or other waterproof/breathable) pants/bibs and jacket
  • Puffy coat (synthetic or down)
  • Warm hat
  • Balaclava/neck warmer
  • 1 pr. approach/lightweight gloves
  • 1 pr. warm waterproof gloves or mitts
  • Goggles
  • Sunglasses
  • Day pack (approx. 3000 cu. in)
  • Headlamp with extra batteries
  • 2 liters of water or thermos
  • Lunch and snacks for each day
  • Lip balm
  • Sun screen
  • Alpine touring or Telemark skis or Splitboard with skins, or Snowboard and snowshoes, or just snowshoes.
  • Ski Boots
  • Ski poles
  • Helmet
Optional equipment:
  • Repair kit
  • camera
  • altimeter watch
  • first aid kit
  • Mt. Washington map
  • compass

We will supply you with beacon, probe and shovel, but if you have your own, please let us know.

Meet at the Synnott Mountain Guides office at 8:00 AM, dressed and packed for a field day. We’ll conclude the day around 4:30 PM.

Will masks be required?

Face coverings such as a cloth mask, buff, or bandanna will be required equipment. Any time you’re within 6 feet of another person, you’ll need to wear your mask. While hiking and skiing, we’ll space out farther than 6 feet whenever possible. A mask isn’t just for your own protection — it shows that you respect the health of your fellow students and instructors.

How large will groups be?

Our field groups typically consist of seven people, including the instructor. Private courses are available if you inquire very early in the season, and pricing will vary.

Won’t it be cold meeting outside to start the field days?

Meeting outside will be a necessary evil if you wish to take an AIARE course this season. We’ll all be meeting dressed for the outdoors, and you can wait in your car until we’re ready to hit the trail.

Will Tuckerman Ravine be open?

This is an impossible question to answer. But contrary to popular belief, wild avalanche terrain exists far beyond Tuckerman Ravine and we have many location options in the White Mountains for the AIARE Avalanche Rescue course.

Mountains, Cliffs, & Routes

Conditions permitting, this course will take place in a variety of terrain on Mount Washington. We may also utilize other steep/open terrain in the White Mountains such as Crawford Notch.


Beginner - Advanced


1 Day





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