Know before you go.

Local Telluride Avalanche Education

We offer several avalanche education opportunities throughout the winter season including: AIARE Recreation Avalanche Rescue, AIARE Recreation Level 1, and AIARE Recreation Level 2. Part of the proceeds from each course supports the Telluride Avalanche School.

Our 1 and 3-day courses curricula adhere to the curriculum from the American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education (AIARE) and all participants receive a Certificate of Completion for these courses. Field sessions make up at least 70% of course content and are conducted in real avalanche terrain.

All of our highly-skilled instructors/guides are avalanche forecasters, snow safety experts, professional ski patrollers and/or professional members of the AAA and/or AIARE who understand the importance of creating dynamic and interesting lessons.

San Juan Outdoor Adventures/Telluride Adventures is a fully insured US Forest Service permitted outfitter in the Uncompahgre and San Juan National Forests and an Equal Opportunity Service Provider.

The Peter Inglis Avalanche Education Fund was created in the winter of 2016 to help individuals with avalanche education costs via scholarships in order to positively contribute to and influence avalanche education and user awareness in the Telluride region. If you are interested in applying for a scholarship to further your backcountry learning, email with details in your inquiry.


Telluride High School Avalanche Awareness & Rescue Training

This Winter PE offering is for 10th and 11th graders. Please download and complete all forms per student.

Letter to Parents & Students

Letter to Parent PDF

Training Application Form

Avalanche Awareness and Rescue Training Application Form

Participant Release Form

Participant Release Form

Application Checklist

Application Checklist

2021-2022 Dates

December 2, 2021

Cost: $195

If you are interested in setting up a private group, please contact us.

AIARE Avalanche Rescue

AIARE Avalanche Rescue 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 return participants will expand their skill set with advanced topics and realistic scenario practice to help improve their skills after the course.

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

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.

Student learning outcomes

At the end of the Avalanche Rescue course the student should be able to:

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

All students will have the opportunity to get feedback from an instructor on their rescue skills and timed practice with a realistic scenario.

Students who have previously taken an AIARE Recreation Level 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 a one-day course aimed both at new and experienced recreationists, and aspiring snow professionals.


Students must be able to travel in the snow, and bring appropriate equipment for traveling on snow to class. There are no other prerequisites.

AIARE Recreation Level 1

Decision Making in Avalanche Terrain

The AIARE Recreation Level 1 is a three-day / 24-hour introduction to avalanche hazard management.

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).

Student learning outcomes

At the end of the AIARE Recreation Level 1 course the student should be able to:

  • Develop a plan for travel in avalanche terrain.
  • Demonstrate the ability to identify avalanche terrain.
  • Effectively use the AIARE Decision Making Framework to make terrain choices in a group setting
  • Demonstrate effective companion rescue.

Who Should Take this Course

The AIARE Recreation Level 1 is for anyone, regardless of method of travel, who wants to recreate in or near avalanche terrain. Participants may have attended some awareness classes or workshops or completed the Avalanche Rescue course, but none are a prerequisite for this course.

Aspiring professionals will need to take the AIARE Recreation Level 1 and Avalanche Rescue as a prerequisite for the Pro 1 course.


Students must be able to travel in avalanche terrain and bring appropriate equipment for traveling on snow to class. There are no other prerequisites.

2021-2022 Dates

December 3, 4 and 5, 2021

Cost: $550

If you are interested in setting up a private group, please contact us.

backcountry in Telluride Colorado

2021-2022 Dates

To be announced.

If you are interested in setting up a private group, please contact us.

AIARE Recreation Level 2

The AIARE Recreation Level 2 is a three-day/24-hour course that provides backcountry travelers an opportunity to advance their decision making skills in more complicated situations such as being a leader within a small travel group, traveling in more complicated terrain, and/or developing a travel plan where resources are scarce.

The AIARE Level 2 builds on the introductory avalanche hazard management model introduced in the AIARE Level 1 and adds to it the evaluation of critical hazard assessment factors. Students will describe and discuss weather, snowpack and avalanche processes, and identify how these processes relate to observations and travel within avalanche terrain.

Who Should Take this Course

The AIARE Recreation Level 2 is a three-day course for those who have taken an AIARE 1 and Avalanche Rescue and have had at least a year of backcountry travel experience. The AIARE Recreation Level 2 provides backcountry leaders the opportunity to advance their avalanche knowledge and decision making skills.

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Differentiate where specific avalanche hazards exist within the landscape and identify avalanche terrain where consequences may be more severe.
  • Use and interpret weather, snow, and avalanche observations to locate appropriate terrain prior to entering and while in the field.
  • Demonstrate leadership skills within a small team that include facilitating small group discussion, promoting appropriate terrain selection, and utilizing simple risk management strategies.
  • Implement a basic forecasting framework that can be used in conjunction with and in the absences of local supporting avalanche information.


  • Participants must have the ability to travel in avalanche terrain.
  • An AIARE Recreation Level 1 Course (strongly recommended) or equivalent Level 1 training is required.
  • A winter of practical experience after the Level 1 course is highly recommended before taking the AIARE Recreation Level 2 course.
  • AIARE or AAA approved one-day Avalanche Rescue Course.