October 27, 2015
It’s that time of year again. The mornings are crisp and cool. The trees have turned beautiful shades of yellow, orange, and red. And our home here in the Cascades is transforming into a winter wonderland. If you’re a skier, snowboarder, snowshoer, or winter alpinist it’s the time of year you start to get really excited! With each subsequent storm you start checking your gear, looking at maps, and planning some of your winter’s backcountry adventures.
Traveling in the mountains during the winter brings with it some of the most rewarding moments. It also brings with it the need for additional skill sets from our normal summer hiking and climbing seasons. We need to know how, when, and where to travel in the mountains during the winter in order to stay safe. Identifying and avoiding avalanche risk is one of the critical skills for winter recreationist. Whether you’re new to winter recreation or an avid winter traveler, our education in avalanche avoidance is a lifelong process.
Nestled at the base of iconic Mt Rainier, International Mountain Guides’ headquarters is the perfect place to begin your avalanche education journey or take the next steps to becoming an informed winter traveler. All courses are hosted at IMG’s offices in Ashford, WA with group transportation from Ashford to field sites within Mt Rainier National Park.
Top Tier Avalanche Instructors: Our avalanche education instructor pool is second to none. Our staff work as avalanche professionals on local, regional, and national levels as avalanche forecasters, ski guides, and instructors. Tap into their decades of experience as you learn the ins and outs of backcountry travel.
Lowest Student to Instructor Ratio: At IMG we feel that the more time you have to work with an instructor in a small group the more opportunity you have to learn. IMG’s 5:1 ratio will make sure you get the personalized instruction you need.
Field Time Every Day: What’s the best way to learn about the snow? Get out in it. IMG’s close proximity to Mt Rainier allows us to spend the bulk of our time outside and not in a classroom.
Lodging and Transportation Included: Lodging at IMG’s headquarters is included during the course. Each day we will ride together in IMG’s vans from Ashford to Mt Rainier.
AIARE Level 1: Whether you’re new to winter recreation, haven’t had an avalanche course in several years, or just want to brush up on key avalanche avoidance skills this course is a great place to start. AIARE’s Level 1 will equip you with the skills to get informed about current avalanche conditions, plan according to the information, and find the best snow for your goals. At the end of a Level 1 you will have the skills to travel as a competent member of a group, with the support of avalanche and snow information in avalanche terrain. (Backcountry skis, snowboard, or snowshoes required)
Backcountry Touring & AIARE Level 1 Combo: This course is designed for the resort skier/rider who wants to begin to explore the backcountry. You’ll get all the information of an AIARE Level 1 with the addition of 5 complete touring days to learn and refine your tour planning skills, uphill travel techniques, and group management to set you up to ski/ride those unexplored slopes beyond the rope line of the ski areas. (Backcountry Skis or Snowboard required)
AIARE Level 2: This course is for the backcountry traveler who wants to take his/her travel to the next level. This course isn’t about geeking out in snowpits or staring through a magnifying glass. It’s about developing real skills to venture into deeper or more challenging winter environments. When you complete our AIARE Level 2 you will develop the skills to be a leader within your travel groups, travel without the support of an avalanche bulletin, and travel in more complicated avalanche terrain. (Backcountry skis, snowboard, or snowshoes required)
Mt Rainier Ski Traverse: Ever dream of a big backcountry ski adventure? Well this is it! Join IMG guides as we traverse Mt Rainier south to north from Paradise to the Carbon River Road. Crossing more than five glaciers and experiencing Mt Rainier in a whole new light. This will be the trip of a lifetime! (Backcountry Skis or Snowboard Required)
Guided Backcountry Skiing/Riding: Whether you have a specific skill you want to learn, have an objective you want to ski, or just plain want a great day of skiing. Let IMG’s guides help you find that great ski line. Private guided backcountry skiing and riding is available all winter long. Let us help plan your ski adventure. (Backcountry Skis or Snowboard Required)
Private Avalanche Courses Available: Contact IMG for details.
We hope to see you this winter in the mountains!