AMG COURSE- Avalanche Rescue Course - Gorham, ME
Why choose Acadia Mountain Guides for your avalanche education?
Simply our instructor team is the strongest in New England and our courses reflect that. We were at the table early on when the concept of furthering public avalanche education in the U.S. was being discussed and the American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education was being created. For several years we were the only climbing school sponsoring AIARE avalanche courses in the eastern U.S. We often ran them at a financial loss, brought avalanche guru Karl Klassen (canadian IFMGA guide, chief forecaster for the Canadian Avalanche Association, and initial technical director for AIARE) in from western Canada to teach them, and corralled all of our friends to attend just to have enough people to run the course. In fact, many of the snow rangers and current avalanche course providers who are working or have worked on Mount Washington were participants in those early courses. Today, times have changed and demand for courses has created an abundance of courses and providers. While all the courses are good, we believe ours to be superior and here’s why:
Course Leaders: All AIARE courses must have a course provider overseeing the course and present for all field sessions.
Jon Tierney is the longest standing, continuous course leader of AIARE avalanche courses in the east. He first brought avalanche courses to New England as early as 1986 on Katahdin. He began co-instructing with and was mentored by Karl Klassen in the mid 90’s with the inception of AIARE. In his lifetime, Jon has a love of high places and has spent a lot of time on snow and in a variety of snowpacks as an alpine and ski mountaineering guide and a climbing ranger and you will benefit from that experience. He brings you experience ranging from high altitude peaks in Alaska, China and South American to the mountains of New England. Jon is known for making things easy to understand and his excellent blend of teaching skills that are highly effective with groups. As many clients have said, “If you take a course with Jon, you will take another.” In addition to be one of the few fully certified international IFMGA/AMGA mountain guides, Jon is also a practicing flight paramedic.
Jon is an AIARE Level 1 and 2 Course Leader and Level 3 graduate.
“Jon is a very experienced professional guide and one of best outdoor educators in the AMGA. His client care and technical skills are excellent.” – 2006, Bela Vadasz (Ski Mountaineering discipline coordinator) and Rob Hess (AMGA Technical Director).
Al Mandell is a superb, technically precise skier who has coached several aspiring IFMGA guides on their ski skills in preparation for their ski exams. But more than that he has a huge passion for skiing that you can’t help but become infected by. He is an engineer so avalanche science makes sense and he is able to share it with participants in a very understandable and excited manner. Al has completed the AMGA Ski Guides Course and AMGA Advanced Ski Mountaineering Course and Aspirant Exam and is pursuing the AMGA Ski Mountaineering Certification. Al is an AIARE Level 1 and 2 Course Leader, Level 3 graduate, and Pro I course provider trainee.
Ben Allen hails right from Gorham, NH and knows the Presidential Range in great detail. He is a superb skier with a knack for teaching about snow. His low key demeanor combined with his enthusiasm for getting people out on snow makes it easy for people to learn. Ben is a Level 1 course instructor, and a graduate of the new Pro 1 course.
So before you just sign up for a course, compare our instructor team to others. When you do, the choice will be easy.
Each participant on an AMGCS avalanche course will be provided a beacon, probe, and shovel. Additionally, each group of four will be provided a group snow study kit. Of course, if you have your own you are welcome to use it.
At each course, we bring a selection of brand new beacons, probes, and shovels along with avalanche packs and snow study tools. Students can try these and purchase them at a significant discount if they like. If you need outdoor gear, all AMGCS clients also get a lifetime 15% personal purchase discount at AlpenglowGear.com.