AIARE Level 2

AIARE Level 2: Analyzing Snow Stability & Avalanche Hazard


Course Overview:

The AIARE 2 course is a 4-day program format that provides backcountry leaders the opportunity to advance their avalanche knowledge.  The AIARE 2 builds from the introductory avalanche hazard management model introduced in the AIARE 1 and adds to it – the evaluation of factors critical to stability evaluation and decision-making skill development.  This course also includes the introductory and prerequisite components for the professional progression: the AIARE 3 certificate.

Student Learning Outcomes:

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

Instructional Sessions (40 hours including both class and field) include:

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

Student Prerequisites: Students must have the ability to travel in avalanche terrain. An AIARE 1 Course (strongly recommended) or equivalent training/experience is required. A winter of practical experience after the Level 1 course is recommended before taking the AIARE 2 course.

Required equipment:  Participants should bring appropriate outdoor clothing for conditions, adequate water, a nutritious lunch, snacks, notebook and pen, and avalanche gear each day.  See the following equipment list for all AIARE field-based avalanche courses. Some gear available for rent.  Contact us for details.

Schedule: See our upcoming dates below.  Don’t see something that meets your needs?  Simply contact us.

*Due to course expenses there is a 6 person minimum.

Pricing, Dates, & Scheduling Needs

Below is our pricing, upcoming dates, and scheduling requirements for our upcoming AIARE Level 2 avalanche education courses.  Click on the menu in top right corner for additional course offerings.

AIARE Level 2 – Open Enrollment

  • Dates: 12/7-12/8/2013 & 12/14-12/15/2013
  • Location: Schweitzer Mountain Resort, Sandpoint, Idaho
  • Ages: 18+
  • Cost: $495

Please note:  Pricing is based on a 6 person minimum.  50% down required to reserve your space (20% non-refundable).  SOLE can cancel courses at any time due to unforeseen circumstances.  If this does occur participants/families will receive full reimbursement for deposit/course fees.

*Denotes:  Pricing eligible for our Youth Scholarship Fund.  If interested please contact us for details.  Cost includes all expenses during course dates (except those which are beyond the norm — e.g., helicopter evacuation).  Pricing does not include transportation to and from “meeting locations”, personal gear, and other specific needs related to individual participants.  Some personal gear available for rent for an additional nominal fee.  We recommend that you purchase refundable airline tickets and/or trip insurance due to unforeseen circumstances for all multi-day SOLE Experiences SM.

Each SOLE Experience SM begins with a FREE thorough consultation to ensure specific objectives are targeted.  Please contact us or click on the “registration” button below to set-up a call.

REGISTER NOW for an AIARE Avalanche Education Course!