Course Detail

Course Type and Name

AIARE 1 - Decision Making in Avalanche Terrain

CT1 Mt Washington 1/4/2019


Acadia Mountain Guides and Climbing School

(207) 866-7562 (Wk)

Course location

Mt Washington, NH


Begin: 01/04/2019; End: 01/06/2019



Course Details

RATE INLCUDES TRANSCEIVER, SHOVEL, AND PROBE USE AND 15% OFF FOR LIFE AT OUR STORES. We carry one of the largest selections of Avalanche Safety equipment in New England.


#1. Our instructor team is one of the strongest in New England and our courses reflect that. We were at the table early on when the concept of furthering public avalanche education was discussed and AIARE was being created. For several years we were the only climbing school sponsoring AIARE avalanche courses in the eastern U.S. We ran them at a financial loss, brought avalanche guru Karl Klassen (Canadian IFMGA guide, chief forecaster for the Canadian Avalanche Assoc., and initial technical director for AIARE) in from western Canada to teach them, and corralled all our friends to attend just to have enough people to run the course. In fact, many of the snow rangers working on Mount Washington were participants in those early courses. Today, times have changed and demand for courses has created an abundance of courses and providers. While all the courses are good, we believe ours to be superior and here's why:

Jon Tierney 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 Katahdin. He began co-instructing with and was mentored by Karl Klassen in the mid 90's. As an IFMGA guide, Jon along with Marc Chauvin (who we also highly recommend) are the only certified Ski Mountaineering Guides regularly teaching avalanche courses in New England. In his lifetime, Jon has spent a lot of time on snow both as a alpine and ski guide and a climbing ranger and you will benefit from that experience. Jon is known for making things easy to understand and his excellent blend of teaching skills that are highly effective with groups. Jon is an AIARE Level I course leader, Level II Instructor course leader and a graduate of the Level III professional course.

Al Mandell is a superb, technically precise skier who has coached several aspiring IFMGA guides on their ski skills in preparation for their ski exams. But more than that he has a huge passion for skiing that you can't help but become infected by. He is an engineer so avalanche science makes sense to him and he is able to share it with participants in a very understandable and excited manner. Al has completed the AMGA Ski Guides Course, is taking his AMGA Advanced Ski Mountaineering Course and Aspirant Exam this spring and will pursue the AMGA Ski Mountaineering Certification the following year. If you take a course with Al, you will take another. Al is an AIARE Level I course leader, Level II Instructor and a graduate of the Level III professional course.

Blake Keogh is the newest member of our team but he is no stranger to snow. A superb skier, Blake has been working with Acadia Mountain Guides for the past four seasons, co-teaching the majority of AIARE Level 1 courses each winter. Additionally, over the past few years Blake completed his AIARE level 2 and level 3 professional courses, and finished his AIARE ITC1 training. Blake brings his own academic research to each course, having completed his graduate thesis on preemptive decision-making in avalanche terrain. Blake is a firm believer that how we interpret information from the environment is just as important as our methods of collecting that data. When Blake isn’t teaching AIARE courses he is in the mountains pursuing his own ski mountaineering goals both in New England and throughout the west. Blake is a board member of the White Mountain Avalanche Education Fund and an ambassador for DPS Skis, Rime Elements, Terrain Gym, and Allspeed Cyclery and Snow.

Occasionally we are joined by IFMGA guides Silas Rossi or Marc Chauvin as well. Both are Level II Course Leaders. Before you just sign up for a course, compare our instructor team to others out there. When you do, the choice will be easy.

#2. Each participant on an AMGCS avalanche course will be loaned a beacon, probe and shovel. Additionally each group of four will be provided a group snow study kit. Of course, if you have your own we encourage you to use your gear!

#3. At each course we bring a selection of brand new beacons, probes and shovels along with avalanche packs and snow study tools. Student can try these and purchase them at a significant discount.

#4. All AMG clients receive 15% off for LIFE at our retail stores and online at We have one of the largest selection of Avalanche Safety equipment in New England.