American Institute for Avalanche Research & Education

More Coloradans are entering the winter backcountry every season, and more people means increased likelihood of avalanche accidents occurring. AIARE creates avalanche education curriculum and trains instructors to deliver it with the goal of making everyone who enters the backcountry safer.

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General Information

Official Name
American Institute for Avalanche Research & Education​​​​​​​
DBA/Trade Name(s)
Former Name(s)
Date Established
Offers Additional Colorado State Tax Credit
Tax ID
Headquarters Address
PO Box 1538
Vail, CO 81658
Colorado Location
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Other Address
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Voice Calls and Text Message Accepted
Fax Number
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Social Media Links

Mission Statement


Organization History

AIARE is a non-profit educational organization that creates researched-based avalanche education curriculum for backcountry users with the belief that avalanche education, research, and training can prevent injuries and fatalities due to avalanches.

Before AIARE was established, there was no nationally recognized curriculum for avalanche education in the United States. The need for a unified approach to avalanche education became clear as the sport of backcountry skiing gained popularity in the late 90s and early 2000s. Since then, AIARE has created a framework for assessing risk and moving through avalanche terrain. The three-part course series, Decision Making in Backcountry Terrain, is the backbone of our curriculum. AIARE also trains instructors to effectively deliver our curriculum and provide a forum for information exchange and professional development. Today, AIARE is the largest provider of avalanche education in the US, reaching over 18,000 students annually through our network of 100+ providers nationwide.


I love and work with AIARE because education is one of the foundational principles of life. When it comes to the backcountry, I'm forever a student, I'm always learning. And AIARE provides the tools necessary to become better at what we do on snow! -Chris Davenport, 2x World Champion, Ski Mountaineer Guide, Member of the US Ski & Snowboard Hall of Fame

When I was going through my mountain guide education, AIARE was the standard to obtain for my professional education. Moving forward from my own courses as a student, I loved becoming an instructor and sharing the knowledge of how to make good decisions in the terrain and how to safely gain mountain sense. The mountains themselves provide us with a lifelong education in every experience we have out there. But it's necessary to have courses where people can trust the quality of the material so they can learn certain lessons without risking their lives. AIARE does a great job at providing just that. -Erin Smart, IFMGA Mountain Guide, AIARE Instructor

What I really appreciate about AIARE is that it works to create curriculum with a clear mission. The programming is designed to be easy to understand, digestible, and with a focus on a repeatable approach to avalanche education that creates good habits for the way real people actually want to recreate. As a snowmobiler, I also appreciate AIARE's inclusive spirit, which allows more people like myself to get involved and to go beyond Rec-level education. AIARE has done a phenomenal job with outreach to the snowmobile community and developing snowmobile-specific avalanche education by developing a roadmap for a progressive path towards professional level certification. AIARE recognizes that with the explosion of winter backcountry recreation industries, it is critical to reach many people, who participate via many modes of travel, in a very short period of time. This inclusive approach allows them to do just that. It's my pleasure and an honor to be a part of an organization like this, and they are a perfect alignment with the mission and values of my organization. -Jon Miller, Founder & CEO, Backcountry United

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