February 4, 2009 Avalanche EducationThis year SMG teamed up with AIARE to incorporate material into our curriculum. Last year Kirk and Hatch went to Colorado to attend an ITC (instructor training course) and ever since Kirk has been in contact with AIARE on getting set up with them. This December I took the ITC here in Stanley ran by Ben Pritchet and Brian Lazar, both from AIARE down in Colorado. Last weekend we had our first AIARE level 1 course here in Stanley. It involved combining our material with a new format and info. We also had a new venue, which turned our really well. The course was held at the Trillium Coffee house in ‘downtown’ Stanley which gave the course the authentic, rustic Stanley feel. Jamie (owner) and Sean provided a great breakfast and coffee every morning.Lectures and morning meetings were held in Stanley, and after drinking plenty of coffee, we did our field sessions at Galena Pass and Banner Summit. At Galena we did our snowpit studies which included hand hardness, profiles, stability tests and general observations. At Banner summit we did our tour day which introduced terrain management while incorporating just about everything else we had covered into a practical field setting.Everyone enjoyed the course and we were psyched to have a new spin on courses based out of town. We even got one of our classic Stanley inversions which was -30 on the last morning so everyone got a full taste of Sawtooth Valley living! This was our last Level 1 but next year the format will be the same.