AIARE Level 2 Rec. (hut based)

The Level 2 course provides backcountry leaders the opportunity to advance their avalanche knowledge and decision making skills. This course also includes the introductory and prerequisite components for the professional progression: the Level 3 certificate.

We’ll build from the introductory avalanche hazard management model introduced in the Level 1 and add to it the evaluation of factors critical to stability evaluation.

Student Learning Outcomes

  1. Advance understanding of avalanche terrain, particularly from the perspective of stability analysis.
  2. Discuss how the snowpack develops and metamorphoses over time; and discuss the factors that contribute to spatial variability.
  3. Learn standard observation guidelines and recording formats for factors that influence or indicate snow stability. SWAG MODULE.
  4. Advance understanding of avalanche release and triggering mechanisms.
  5. Introduce a snow stability analysis and forecasting framework.
  6. Improve companion rescue skills including multiple and deep burials.

Instructional Sessions (24 hours including both class and field) include:

  1. AIARE 1 Review
  2. Energy balance, the mountain snowpack and metamorphism
  3. Faceting; near surface and near crust faceting
  4. Formation of surface hoar and persistent weak layers
  5. Skier Triggering: theory and observations
  6. International and national snow, weather and avalanche observation and recording guidelines (SWAG). SWAG is available for download.
    – Weather; interpreting forecasts, recording and observation techniques
    – Snow profile techniques and bonding tests
    – Avalanche observations and recording techniques
  7. Stability analysis checklist: reviewing critical factors
    – Stability ratings
    – Daily stability forecasts and analysis
  8. Trip Planning and hazard forecasting for avalanche terrain.trip-plan-1
    – The avalanche danger ratings
    – Terrain analysis using maps/photos
    – Forecasting stability and variability
  9. Terrain selection and route finding
    – Group management and hazard management
    – Decision making
    – Human factors
  10. Information gathering
    – Site selection and relevancy
    – Spatial variability
    – Slope tests
  11. Companion Rescue
    – AIARE 1 techniques review
    – Multiple burial
    – Shovel techniques

Visit AIARE’s website here.

Use of beacon, shovel and probes are included. Ski/splitboard are required.

2018 course dates: 

March 15-18

This course is 4 days hut based on Monarch Pass, Thursday through Sunday.

Field Locations:
Monarch Pass

Student Prerequisites:
An AIARE Level 1 Course
Know how to skin and have a ski or split board set up
Proficent skier/snowboarder

Not Included: Transportation and toll fees, accommodations, food, and guide gratuity.


6:1 max ratio (or 12:2)
Prices are per person

3 day includes:

  • AIARE Certified Level 2 Leader
  • Use of BCA beacon, probe, and shovel (if required)
  • AIARE field book, AIARE student manual, SWAG download
  • Two nights Hut accommodations.

Not included is transportation to mountain field locations, snow science tools, and personal backcountry equipment.  Alpine touring skis/splitboard are required. Food at huts to be group effort.

PPASAiareI 0131
Other Adventures
AIARE Level 2 Rec.
Backcountry Skiing / Splitboarding Tours
Nordic Skiing or Snowshoe Tours
AIARE Avalanche Rescue

Pikes Peak Alpine School operates under special use permits from the USDA Forest Service, Pike National Forest and is an equal opportunity service provider & employer