Do I need to take an avalanche course?

Only if you plan on traveling in avalanche terrain.  Travel in avalanche terrain can be dangerous and an avalanche course can help you reduce your chance of having an accident by providing a framework to asses and manage your risk.  AIARE courses are specifically designed for backcountry recreationists who need to make travel decisions in avalanche terrain.  There are many avalanche courses offered throughout the NWAC forecast area.  If you are new to backcountry travel, and looking for free, or low-cost short-format courses, our offerings on listed on the NWAC class calendar. If you are interested in more in-depth avalanche education, check out the courses offered by our local providers.