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  1. #1
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    American Avalanche Association vs. AIARE - What's the beef?

    (Found this on Reddit ... https://www.reddit.com/r/Backcountry...recognize_any/)

    October 14, 2017


    Greetings American Avalanche Association (A3) Members & Friends,
    Midday yesterday AIARE informed A3 that they will not be participating in the A3 Pro Training Program this season. Our understanding is that this decision comes directly from the AIARE Board of Directors.
    A3 is disappointed by this decision. A3, avalanche educators, and industry advisors have worked diligently for over three years to develop a professional training program that improves avalanche worker safety. A3 has worked closely with AIARE to incorporate their experience and expertise with professional avalanche education into this program.
    In light of this decision by AIARE, A3 cannot recognize any professional courses taught by AIARE this winter as part of the Pro Training Program. Students who elect to take a professional course with AIARE this season will not receive Pro 1 or Pro 2 certificate as part of the A3 Pro Training Program.

    To our knowledge, AIARE's network of providers will continue to teach recreational courses - Level 1, Rescue, and Level 2 - consistent with A3 guidelines for those particular courses at this time.

    A3 will continue to implement the Pro Training Program as planned this winter to provide high quality, consistent professional training opportunities for avalanche workers. The following course providers are progressing through the A3 Pro Training review process and are offering Pro 1, Pro 1 Bridge, and Pro 2 (certain providers) courses this season:
    • Alaska Avalanche School • American Avalanche Institute • Colorado Mountain College Leadville • National Avalanche School • Silverton Avalanche School

    Please contact each of these Pro Course Providers directly about schedules and enrollment on a Pro Training course this winter. For general questions about the A3 Pro Training Program you can visit the A3 website or contact us at a3@avalanche.org.

    Sincerely, Jaime Musnicki, A3 Executive Director John Stimberis, A3 President Eeva Latosuo, A3 Education Trustee Josh Hirshberg, A3 Interim Pro Training Coordinator

  2. #2
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    Interesting.

  3. #3
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    Dec 2004
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    8,505
    I guess it is not surprising to see a split and for each org. to work towards what it sees as its niche/strength.

    For a professional these Certs. may now actually have some meaning. Kind of a shame to see this but oh well.

  4. #4
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    A3 is the professional society for avalanche professionals in the United States.

    A3 establishes educational guidelines.

    Avalanche education companies (AIARE, AAI, NSP, etc) followed A3 educational guidelines within their own proprietary curriculum.

    Avalanche educators (who you take a class from) all teach to the A3 standard whether by directly adhering through a personally developed curriculum or through a curriculum supplied by a proprietary brand (like AIARE).

    Well that is how it was until just now...

    New new pro/rec educational structure and professional training standards were developed over years with all stakeholders involved. They strike me as mostly a good thing (there's parts I don't love, but overall it is good). Everyone was onboard... this 11th hour reversal by AIARE seems related to a recent change in the AIARE leadership, but I'm not really sure what the deal is here. I don't think this fracture is good for avalanche professionals. The proprietary nature of avalanche education above Rec Level 1 in the US is already a needless superficiality IMO.

    Sorry, that is mostly just background info... perhaps someone else will share the details.
    Quote Originally Posted by blurred
    skiing is hiking all day so that you can ski on shitty gear for 5 minutes.

  5. #5
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    Apr 2004
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    maybe the academics reacting to hostile bid by the venture capitalists.
    off your knees Louie

  6. #6
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    Dec 2005
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    I think it's basically "If we can't play the way I want, I'm going to pack up my toys and go home."

    I was told that AIARE will issue a statement explaining their decision. The pro course descriptions on their website are identical to the AAA guidelines, but now they are specifically branded AIARE.

  7. #7
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    Dec 2004
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    For those stuck in the Northeast, check out the NE Rando Race Series and my avalanche course. (For other avalanche course providers anywhere, feel free to use any of my "homework" assignments for your own courses too.)

  8. #8
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    Dec 2003
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    Seattle
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    How very People's Front of Judea.
    Quote Originally Posted by Downbound Train View Post
    And there will come a day when our ancestors look back...........

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by PNWbrit View Post
    How very People's Front of Judea.
    We must unite against our common enemy!
    (Avalanches? Oh, right...)
    For those stuck in the Northeast, check out the NE Rando Race Series and my avalanche course. (For other avalanche course providers anywhere, feel free to use any of my "homework" assignments for your own courses too.)

  10. #10
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    Dec 2004
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonathan S. View Post
    We must unite against our common enemy!
    (Avalanches? Oh, right...)
    For anyone who somehow doesn't get the reference:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kHHitXxH-us&t=0m45s
    For those stuck in the Northeast, check out the NE Rando Race Series and my avalanche course. (For other avalanche course providers anywhere, feel free to use any of my "homework" assignments for your own courses too.)

  11. #11
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    So... wait... what?

    AIARE doesn't want to accept non-AIARE courses until the instructor's course is audited by AIARE?

    Or are they claiming something else?

    That was a pretty unclear document.

    Love the Life of Brian reference...
    Quote Originally Posted by blurred
    skiing is hiking all day so that you can ski on shitty gear for 5 minutes.

  12. #12
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    I heard AIARE is back in. True?

  13. #13
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    Beats me... I know they want way more frequent reupping (aka PAY ME) than all of my healthcare licenses put together... instructors are just another revenue stream for this "non-profit"
    Quote Originally Posted by blurred
    skiing is hiking all day so that you can ski on shitty gear for 5 minutes.

  14. #14
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    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BwN...lfa05oQms/view

    The process of creating a national standard involved AIARE, AAI, AAA, NAS, and the Alaska
    Avalanche School, and other key representatives from industry. All parties began this process
    with the intent to bring the avalanche industry up to the same avalanche education standard
    for snow professionals that has been pioneered and maintained by the certificate courses
    offered by AIARE, AAI, and AvPro.
    This process, which supports the AAA in providing oversight of the evaluation criteria, also
    encourages new pro course providers, who will employ the same professional standard.
    However, AIARE takes issue with the AAA Pro Course Provider Agreement, which we regard as
    a flawed legal agreement. AIARE’s issue is not with the AAA approach or intent, but with the
    Pro Course Provider Agreement itself.
    Our concerns include how the AAA has defined its role, that it names and certifies professional
    instructors prior to field observation and an audit, and that it requires providers to accept all
    provider’s courses as equivalent prior to completion of the observation, the audit or
    accreditation process. AIARE wants to ensure that the observation and review process will
    maintain the instructional standards established by AIARE and AAI, and that during this “trial
    run”, Pro Providers will have the opportunity to modify and update these guidelines.
    For the past six months, Richard Bothwell of AIARE and Sarah Carpenter of AAI have worked to
    encourage the AAA to rewrite the proposed Pro Course Provider Agreement. At our October
    10th AIARE Board meeting, we reviewed these events, and voted as a Board to not approve
    the current version of the Pro Course Provider Agreement presented to us by the AAA.
    AIARE recognizes the importance of our relationship with the AAA. AIARE’s goal is to unify the
    professional avalanche standard to include all avalanche workers, ski patrollers, forecasters
    and ski guides.
    We are committed to work with the AAA to achieve this outcome in the interests of all
    avalanche professionals, but we must do so without debasing the standard set by AIARE over
    the past 20 years of our professional avalanche education courses.

    American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education
    125 W Virginia Ave #112, Gunnison, CO 81230
    530-536-0404 I richard@avtraining.org
    www.avtraining.org

    October 19, 2017
    Page 3

    Our recommendation is that Colin Zacharias and Kyle Lefkoff draft an alternate Pro Course
    Provider Agreement this week in collaboration with AAI, that accurately reflects the role
    envisioned and agreed to by the AAA, and that with the approval of the AIARE Board and
    EdComm, present this to the AAA.
    In the meantime, Richard Bothwell, Tim Farrar, and the AIARE Pro Team will continue
    organizing our schedule of courses to implement the first season of the Pro/Rec Split.



    TL,DR; AIARE provides specific coursework, has a 'monopoly' of sorts on its interpretation of the guidelines, and doesn't want to acknowledge providers who meet criteria but haven't paid for the AIARE badge. Same shit as always.

  15. #15
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    ^AIARE gots ta guarantee those revenue streams

    Any updates?
    Quote Originally Posted by blurred
    skiing is hiking all day so that you can ski on shitty gear for 5 minutes.

  16. #16
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    Nov 2003
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    "True love is much easier to find with a helicopter"

  17. #17
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    Nov 2003
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    Colorado
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    Everyone has kissed and made-up. All is well.
    "True love is much easier to find with a helicopter"

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