This Level 2 Avalanche Course provides backcountry travellers the opportunity to advance their avalanche knowledge and decision making skills by applying them to more complicated terrain and situations. You will learn to describe and discuss weather, snowpack, and avalanche processes, and identify how they relate to observations and travel within avalanche terrain. Upon completion you will receive a Level 2 certificate from the American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education (AIARE).
The AIARE Avalanche Companion Rescuecourse is a prerequisite for the AIARE level 2.
The Level 2 course provides backcountry leaders the opportunity to advance their avalanche knowledge and decision making skills by applying their skills to more complicated terrain and situations. You will learn to make decisions without outside resources (like an avalanche forecast) by learning to appropriately describe and discuss weather, snowpack and avalanche processes, and identify how these processes relate to observations and travel within avalanche terrain. Successful completion of this course will provide you with a Level 2 certification through the American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education (AIARE).
Our instructor pool includes mountain guides trained and certified through the International Federation of Mountain Guides Association (IFMGA) or the American Mountain Guides Association (AMGA), and are AIARE certified instructors.
STUDENT LEARNING OUTCOMES:
- Differentiate where specific avalanche hazards exist within the landscape and identify avalanche terrain where consequences may be more severe.
- Use and interpret weather, snow, and avalanche observations to locate appropriate terrain prior to entering and while in the field.
- Demonstrate leadership skills within a small team that include facilitating small group discussion, promoting appropriate terrain selection, and utilizing simple risk management strategies.
- Implement a basic forecasting framework that can be used in conjunction with and in the absences of local supporting avalanche information.
- The 1-day AIARE Companion Rescue course is required.
- The AIARE Level 1 course (strongly recommended) or equivalent Level 1 (American Avalanche Association approved) training is required.
- At least one winter of practical experience traveling in avalanche terrain is required.
- Participants must be proficient at travelling uphill and downhill in avalanche terrain on either alpine ski touring gear (randonee), a splitboard, or snowshoes.
Difficulty Rating System (Explained Here)
Overall Difficulty Level: Moderate
Skills Required: Solid intermediate skiing skills or snowshoeing skills.
Fitness Level: Moderately Strenuous
Day 1: The Changing Mountain Snowpack
- AIARE 1 Review
- Mountain Weather
- The Layered Mountain Snowpack
- Trip Planning Review
- Snow profiles in the Field
Day 2: Making Quality Observations
- Avalanche Formation and Release
- Interpreting Weather Data, Snow Surface Conditions, and Snow Profiles
- Craftsmanship, Relevancy, and Verification of Snow Observations
- Risk Management in Small Groups
- Snowpack Test in the Field
Day 3: Applying Observations to Field Decisions
- Traveling in the Field as a Small Team
- Field Risk Management and During Action Review
- Communicating Observations to our group, other travelers, and local experts
Sign up for acourse or a trip and receive a 10% discount on purchases and a 20% discount on gear rental. Pro Ski and Mountain Service is our retail specialty store. It has been located in North Bend, WA since 1999. The past trips and courses have had a large influence on what we sell. Many of our Pro Guiding customers come on trips and courses with gear they purchased from our store. Not only do we want our clients to have the right gear for the job; we also receive direct feedback from them while they are using it in the field. Trust us - if the gear does not work - we won't sell it.
What prior qualification do I need for the AIARE Level 2 Course? You should at least have taken the AIARE Level 1 Course or an Equivalent course. It is required that you have taken the single day AIARE Avalanche Rescue Course prior to the start of your AIARE Level 2.
Should I tip my guide? And how much should I tip them? Although tipping is not a requirement it is considered standard practice in the guiding industry and is appreciated by our guides. We generally recommend roughly 10%-15% of your course or trip cost or flat price tip that you are comfortable with.