AIARE Level 1 Avalanche Course –
Avalanche Awareness, Decision Making and Basic Rescue

Yes, avalanches do happen in New England and each year a number of backcountry enthusiasts are injured or killed in New England from avalanches. This winter, Acadia Mountain Guides have organized nine weekends of avalanche awareness training sessions beginning this upcoming weekend of December 21st at the Royalty Inn located here in Gorham, NH. Training will be both in the field and in the Royalty Inn Conference room. Special lodging rates are available for the students at the Royalty Inn.

This course is a must for all who travel into the mountains in winter and will help you to understand safe winter travel. It is also a great tune up for winter travelers who have some experience or prior training. Snowboarders, skiers, snowmobilers, snowshoers, and mountaineers will learn the basics of avalanche hazard formation through the relationships of terrain, snowpack, weather, and people. Participants will learn about interpreting forecasts, trip planning considerations, route selection, travel techniques, educated decision making, and search and rescue skills including use of transceivers and probes. The course combines classroom skills with field time to help you to answer these questions: Where is the danger? When is it dangerous? Should we go on? What do I do if caught?

These courses are typically structured to begin in the evening of day 1 and have a evening session on day 2 instead of meeting in the morning on day 1. This often allows participants to travel more conveniently. About 1/3 of day 2 and all of day 3 is spent in the mountains.

Who should take the course? The AIARE 1 is for anyone, regardless of method of travel (skis, snowshoes, snowmobile, climber, etc.) who wants to travel in or near avalanche terrain. Aspiring professionals will need to take the AIARE 1 and a Companion Rescue course as a prerequisite for the Pro 1 Course.

Prerequisites: Students must be able to travel in avalanche terrain on either skis or snowshoes and possess appropriate clothing to stay warm and dry on cold and windy winter days.

Training lead by Jon Tierney: Jon is the longest standing, continuous provider of AIARE avalanche courses in the east. He first brought avalanche courses to New England as early as 1986 on Maine’ Mt. Katahdin. He began co-instructing with and was mentored by Karl Klassen in the mid 90’s with the inception of AIARE. He brings you experience ranging from high altitude peaks in Alaska, China and South American to mountains of New England. Jon is known for making things easy to understand and his excellent blend of teaching skills that are highly effective with groups. For more information, course schedule, or to sign up for the course, Call 888-232-9559 or email

Welcome to the Royalty Inn!

Conrad Klefos, General Manager
Royalty Inn


With a friendly smile and warm welcome, convenient in-room amenities, and budget-friendly rates, Royalty Inn will be your go-to destination when visiting the majestic White Mountains and the Great North Woods. Magical adventures surround us!