(970) 949-9111

AIARE 2 - Avalanche Education


Promote your well-being in the backcountry by furthering knowledge and skills through formal avalanche education.

The American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education (AIARE) provides world-class education through the only internationally recognized curriculum offered in the U.S.

Prerequisites: Participants should be prepared to travel in backcountry terrain (by ski or split board, snowshoe if no other option) in potentially inclement weather and mountainous conditions at altitude. Prerequisite courses include AIARE level1, and the AIARE rescue course.

Advanced reservations are required.

Also availible as a private course.

Some personal items provided by participant(s); see the gear list below.

Register below or call (970) 949-9111.

World Class Avalanche Education (AIARE)

AIARE Level 2 Course Curriculum

  •  Reinforcement of Level 1 fundamentals
  • Snow profiles, surface condition analysis, and the formation of snowpack over time
  • Theory and observation of skier-triggered slides
  • Forecasting, avalanche observation and recording guidelines per U.S. and International guidelines
  • Small group travel and decision making

Applying Your New Skills

Following classroom sessions, we will travel by backcountry ski or splitboard to apply learned skills in a mountain environment, with a focus on:

  • Analysis of snow stability
  • Route selection and terrain analysis
  • Slope tests
  • Reinforcement of level 1 probe and shovel techniques, as well as rescue techniques for single and multiple burials.

AIARE 2 Courses

  • Jan. 5-7, 2018   Approx. 8 SPOTS LEFT
  • March 5-8, 2018   Approx. 11 spots

Personal Equipment:

  • Beacon/probe/shovel (rental available)
  • Clothing for activities and standing in cold/snowy weather (no cotton
  • Long underwear
  • Insulating layers
  • Outer layer (wind/waterproof shell pant and top)
  • Down puffy
  • Warm gloves, mitts, headband, and hat/facemask/buff
  • Goggles and sunglassesSmall personal first aid kit (sunscreen/lip-balm, moleskin, band-aids, medication, etc.)
  • Helmet (recommended)
  • Water Bottle
  • Headlamp and spare batteries
  • Pack
  • Food and water/hot liquid!

Alpine Touring, telemark, or splitboarding equipment:

  • You are required to arrive with equipment. Whether yours or rental, understand how to use your equipment in advance, how to transition the equipment, skins are cut and all equipment is functional and in working order PRIOR to our field days.

Rescue Equipment:

  • Avalanche probe – 260 cm or longer, no integrated ski pole probes or shovel-packed probes
  • Collapsible metal shovel
  • Digital avalanche transceiver (457 kHz frequency)
  • Air bag (optional)
  • Personal first aid kit (blisters, meds, wound care, gloves/face shield, splinting material, sugar etc.)
  • Repair kit, specific to your mode of travel (consider multi-tool, bit driver, hose clamps, straps, spare screws, tape, zip ties, spare basket, pole repair, spark plugs, drive belt etc…)
  • Insulating pad (can be part of pack)
  • Rescue sled, portable w/ supporting slings/straps (OPTIONAL, one per group is sufficient)
  • Emergency shelter as appropriate (OPTIONAL, space blanket, guide’s tarp, bivy sac / bothy bag etc…)

Navigation Tools

  • Terrain Images (optional)
  • Local maps
  • Compass
  • Altimeter/GPS or smartphone
  • Small binocular or monocular for distance viewing
  • Communications equipment (all optional, as Apex has):
  • Two-way radio, GMRS or VHF
  • Satellite phone or transponder (SPOT, DeLorme)

 Snow Study/Observations Equipment:

  • CLINOMETER/inclinometer
  • 2 mechanical pencils
  • Field notebook (Apex provides these)
  • 3m long intermittently knotted cord (2-4mm thick) or manufactured Rutschblock cord
  • Snow saw (min 35cm blade). 70-100cm folding long-saw may replace Rutschblock cord.
  • Snow thermometers (qty 2, graduated in degrees Celsius, not Fahrenheit). Dial stem and/or glass/alcohol types are commonly used. Electronic thermometers are acceptable – be sure to have extra batteries.
  • Crystal identification screen; dark color
  • Magnifier (Otherwise known as Loupe), 10x-15x
  • Folding ruler (graduated in centimeters. 2 meter length)

You will also need the following books:

  • Avalanche Handbook (2006 3rd Edition, available for purchase from Apex)
  • SWAG book (Snow, weather, and avalanches: observation guidelines for avalanche programs in the US, 2010, available for purchase from Apex)
  • You will need a laptop, tablet or smartphone for accessing weather stations and submitting observations (bring to class each day).