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Backcountry Week in Lassen- AIARE Level 1 AVY class + 2 add'l days of riding

Janine wanted to put together a week of riding and AIARE Level 1 avalanche training, so here it is!

This is a professionally guided/instructed trip.

The avalanche class will take place on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. This will be a full AIARE level 1 course. Participants will receive a certificate and will be registered with AIARE as having completed the course.

After the avalanche class we'll have 2 more days of guided backcountry snowboarding. Instruction will be provided.

You don't need backcountry experience or splitboarding experience to take part in the class or snowboarding days. You do need to be able to travel in the snow to take the avy class, and should be a proficient snowboarder/skier on ungroomed intermediate slopes at a resort, and in reasonable fitness to backcountry snowboard/ski.

Youtube videos of what we're shooting for...I'd take either day!

Video #1 Bluebird pow day, no crowds, no tracks

Video #2 Just as the storm is crowds, no tracks

What's provided:

  • Full AIARE Level 1 avalanche course- two days are a mix of class and field work, the third day is a full day of backcountry skiing/snowboarding. Click here for more information about what's provided in a Level 1 avalanche class.
  • 2 additional days of guided backcountry snowboarding- where you will be able to apply the information learned in the avalanche course. It's a great way to make sure you have the information and are able to make good decisions in the backcountry based on the Level 1 class.
  • Accommodations in the Outdoor Adventure Club cabin in Mineral, from Sunday night- Friday afternoon. The house is 4 bedrooms, with room for 12. There is a full kitchen to store food/prepare meals in. Linens,pillows, towels, etc., are provided.
  • Instruction on split boarding technique, including effective skinning, track setting, kick turns, other turns, tips for traversing firm/frozen slopes, basic ski technique for times when you're traveling in ski mode.
  • Additional information covered will include map reading, navigation with map, compass and altimeter, trip planning, creating trip plans and time plans, developing an emergency response plan you can use on your own trips, using rescue sleds, both commercially available and improvised, and lots of practice with your avalanche education.
  • All this will happen while we spend a week in Lassen National park, with some of the best beginner to intermediate level backcountry terrain in northern California.

Not included:

  • Food/meals during the week
  • Personal avalanche gear: beacon, shovel and probe. These items can be rented from the Outdoor Adventure Club for $55 for the week, or elsewhere.
  • Snow transportation: Splitboard, backcountry skis, or snowshoes. Splitboards can be rented for the week for $130-$150 from the Outdoor Adventure Club. It is possible to use snowshoes and carry a snowboard on your pack.
  • A full gear list will be provided when you register.

This trip is being put on by the Outdoor Adventure Club (OAC). The OAC is an AIARE course provider. The OAC has a permit to teach avalanche classes and guide backcountry ski trips in Lassen National Park.  The instructor, Richard Bothwell holds an AIARE Level 3 certificate, and is a Level 1 and Level 2 instructor. He has also completed the AMGA Backcountry Ski Guide Course and is a Wilderness First Responder.


You do not need to be an "extreme" skier to ride in the backcountry!

To take the avalanche class you need to be able to travel on the snow, either by ski, snowboard or snowshoe. For many people the level 1 class is their first experience in the backcountry. You do not need to be a great skier to take the class, but you do need to be able to move through the terrain.

For backcountry snowboarding/skiing you should be competent skiing or boarding on ungroomed intermediate terrain in resorts.  If you're not sure that you are qualified, just ask, and we'll have a discussion to find out.


We've set up a sliding scale for the price on this class/trip. The more people attend, the lower the price is:

2 people $900 each

3 people $800 each

4 people $700 each

5 or 6 people $600 each

It is also possible to break up the week and either attend the Level 1 avalanche class on Mon, Tues, Weds, or the backcountry riding days on Thurs and Friday.

If you're interested and have questions, post comments!



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  • Richard B.

    It's going to be a great time/place for this program... Lassen is getting 2x the snow Tahoe is right now. We'll be able to see how the avy conditions progress through the week, and how they affect terrain selection while we're out snowboarding. It's going to be good!

    March 7, 2013

  • Ryan C.

    So what's the cost for one person just monday thru Wednesday course only

    February 22, 2013

    • janine

      i'm not sure, but richard should let you know soon if he hasn't' already (i think he's out riding in lassen this weekend so that may be why he hasn't replied yet).

      February 24, 2013

    • Richard B.

      I'm back! Lassen was good. Spring-like. I'll contact you directly to set it up

      February 27, 2013

  • Ryan C.

    Im interstd in Monday thru Wednesday avi course. What's the cost for just the avi 1.

    February 22, 2013

  • janine

    the more the merrier! y'all know you wanna come too... gonna be an epic week!

    February 5, 2013

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