Avalanche Level 1 originally intended to do two things. It aimed to provide a baseline understanding of avalanches and decision making to avoid avalanches and to provide rescue skills in the event of an accident. As it turns out, this was a lot to cram into the original 3 day AIARE 1. That's where the Avalanche Rescue Course enters the picture. This blog post investigates why this separation was a good thing and what the Avalanche Rescue Course means for your abilities in the field.
It seems that most everyone has received the message at this point: if you're going into the backcountry, you need to take an Avy Course. But why is this so important? Is it really all that complicated? Is it really that dangerous? What do we learn in these classes anyway?