Recently, Olympic Valley-based guiding company, Alpenglow Expeditions announced their updated Covid-19 policy with regards to their AIARE 1 & 2 courses. In the past, AIARE (the American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education) courses have predominantly, if not entirely, consisted of in-person classes. Regardless of level, students have historically spent time in the classroom and the field. Obviously, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, classes will not be able to operate as per usual.
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In response, Alpenglow released the following statement:
“With the current state of affairs in regards to COVID-19, as well as the significant uncertainty we face in making plans for the winter, we have decided to alter our avalanche education program to remove the in-person classroom component and move these important lessons online.”
Essentially, all classroom content will now consist of self-paced online learning. Although the classroom aspect of the course has changed, Alpenglow still plans to hold the field training in-person.
“With this new format, we are able to spend 2 complete 8 hour days in the field, which is more continuous field time than the legacy courses offered.”
Additionally, Alpenglow noted that despite the change in curriculum, the learning outcomes from each course will still remain the same.
Alpenglow has been one of the first guiding companies in the area to pubicly release a plan for this upcoming season. As such, it will not come as a surprise if other companies follow suit regarding their policy for avalanche courses.