Mountain Adventure Seminars

AIARE Avalanche Education


MAS Avalanche Courses blend classroom and “on-snow” exercises to provide a thorough and “hands-on” understanding of avalanche hazards.  MAS follows the standards set by AIARE (American Institute of Avalanche Research and Education) which is recognized internationally as the industry leader in avalanche education.

MAS Avalanche Course participants benefit from our classroom that is literally a stone’s throw from the snow so little time is wasted when transitioning to the field portions. Overall MAS and Bear Valley provide the ideal setting for learning and honing your winter backcountry skills. We hope to see you on the snow soon.



MAS Avalanche Education Courses

Free Avalanche Awareness Lecture

Whether you ski, snowshoe, snowboard or snowmobile in the backcountry, recognition of avalanche danger is an essential and potentially lifesaving skill. These educational 1.5 hour multimedia presentations provide an overview of the awesome phenomenon of avalanches! Attendees gain a basic understanding of the formation and release of avalanches and ways to avoid them. This program is a great primer to taking the MAS AIARE Avalanche Level I Seminar.

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Jan. 13 – REI San Carlos
Jan. 14 – REI Berkeley
Jan. 19 – REI Saratoga
Jan. 20 – REI Corte Madera
Jan. 26 – REI San Francisco
Jan. 27 – REI Concord

Sidecountry Workshop

This one day course at Bear Valley Mountain is about the exciting world of sidecountry* skiing and snowboarding and is designed for advanced skiers and snowboarders.  Participants will learn about the avalanche bulletin, hazard recognition, travel techniques including a rescue demonstration.  Plus conditions permitting we will rip some sidecountry turns!

* – Sidecountry areas are immediately outside the traditional ski area boundaries.  Sidecountry terrain is not managed by the ski area and therefore poses risks not typically associated with resort recreation.

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AIARE Avalanche Level I Seminar

Learn essential avalanche avoidance skills during this 3 day course. Focus is on recognizing and mitigating hazards and learning to make good decisions in avalanche terrain. Gain a thorough understanding of terrain and snowpack evaluation, trip planning, travel techniques and rescue skills.

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* Participants can split the course over two weekends within the same season and still receive the AIARE Certificate of Completion. Contact MAS to discuss registration details

** Inexperienced winter backcountry travelers should consider taking either the MAS Snowshoe Adventure, Sidecountry Wokrshop, or Intro. to Backcountry Skiing & Snowboarding before this class.