Avalanche Course - AIARE Level 2

  • The AIARE 2 avalanche course is a 4-day program that provides avid backcountry users and leaders the opportunity to advance their avalanche knowledge and decision making skills. The AIARE Level 2 Avalanche Course develops an understanding of snowpack formation and metamorphism. Observation guidelines and recording standards for factors that influence and indicate snowpack stability are presented. Avalanche formation and release are discussed. A stability analysis and forecasting process is introduced. (Colorado Avalanche Information Center) Students will come away from the course with the following information:

    • Snow Metamorphism
    • Surface Hoar Formation
    • Stability Testing
    • Observation Guidelines
    • Recording Standards
    • Understand the snow metamorphism process and how it relates to backcountry snow stability.
    • Understand weak layer formation in the snow pack.
    • Understand temperature gradient and its effects on snow.
    • Make standardized observations and recordings for weather, snowpack and avalanches.
    • Conduct snow testing and interpretation.
    • Perform a rescue

    This course is designed for those who have an interest in expanding their knowledge and understanding of snow stability and snow stability factors. It is ideal for snow safety and guiding professionals, people interested in these and related careers, and recreational practitioners and group leaders who are looking for advanced knowledge and skills.

    Prerequisites: Students must have the ability to travel in avalanche terrain. A AIARE Level 1 Course or equivalent training/experience is required. Practical experience after the Level 1 course is recommended.

    Aspen Expeditions' professional AMGA certified or trained guides follow both AIARE* and AAA* international snow education standards. Our expertise combined with years of experience in mountain ranges throughout the world assure you the highest quality instruction available.

    Please feel free to contact us via phone at 970-925-7625 or email  to request more information.

  • Location: Meet at Aspen Expeditions' backcountry center at Aspen Highlands.

    Maximum Guide Ratio: 6:1 minimum 4:1

    Fitness Level: All courses are designed for the groups physical ability and needs.

    Includes: AIARE instructor/AMGA trained/certified ski guide, use of avalanche beacon, shovel, probe & ski pack, AIARE dues ($15), AIARE field book ($29.95), 3% USFS land use surcharge

    Not included: personal skiing equipment (Alpine Touring (AT) ski, or snowboard equipment (available for demo at $15 discount), single ride lift tickets ($30 - often the instructors use Aspen Mountain to gain access to higher elevation snow which would require a lift ticket for a one time gondola ride), lunch/snack food.

    Avalanche Course participants will receive the following discounts: 50% discount on AT demo ski equipment, $50 off a Mammut airbag, $25 off an Intro Avalanche Gear Equipment Package or $30 off a Guide Recommended Avalanche Gear Equipment Package, $25 discount on Aspen Expeditions ski camps.
  • Course;

    • Day 1 - 8:00 am - 6 pm - classroom instruction
    • Day 2 - 8:00 am - 6 pm - A combination classroom and field instruction
    • Day 3 - 8:00 am - 6 pm - A combination classroom and field instruction
    • Day 4 - 8:00 am - 6 pm - A combination classroom and field instruction
  • BACKCOUNTRY SKIING EQUIPMENT LIST

    SKI EQUIPMENT

    The following items are provided for your day tour:

    • Day-tour backpack: (airbag available)
    • Avalanche Transceiver
    • Probe
    • Avy shovel: metal blade is a must

    CLOTHING

    • Socks: Wool or synthetic ski socks
    • Base layers: Synthetic, wool or silk bottom, underwear and top
    • Mid Layer: Synthetic or wool zip shirt
    • Hard Shell or Softshell pants: A pair with side vents are best.
    • Insulated vest or jacket: down or synthetic.

    OTHER ITEMS

    • Water bottle
    • Small thermos: (Optional)
    • Sunscreen and lip balm: water/sweat-proof
    • Headlamp
    • Toiletries, Personal first-aid kit: for your personal meds/needs
    • Camera or Smartphone
    • Lunch/Snack food 
  • Prep

    You will be provided with a pack w/probe, shovel & avalanche beacon. If you need alpine touring ski equipment (AT skis, skins, boots) we can arrange to set you up at Aspen Highlands shop or the night before between 3:00-5:30 pm.

    Participants will travel through the winter backcountry for field days on skis, splitboard with skins, or snowshoes. Come dressed appropriately with warm layers for moderate physical exertion in cool and wintry weather. 

    THE FIRST STEP

    It is suggested that you maintain a good level of physical fitness. Maintain and build heart and lung endurance with cardiovascular activities such as swimming, cycling, running and hiking. Hike up hill, up stairs or do squats to prepare your legs for mountain travel.

    THE NEXT STEP

    Follow an avalanche course with a day of lift-served and/or backcountry ski ski day, a backcountry ski tour, a backcountry ski camp, hut trip or international ski trip.

  • POLICIES

    Booking/Cancellation policy: AE requires a full credit card or cash/check payment to hold your reservation. Cancellations made within 14 days of a scheduled course will be charged full price. Travel Guard insurance is available via aspenexpeditions.com website.

    Risk Management

    Please note: AEW's number one priority is your safety. Many conditions affect our guides' decisions in the mountains, including client fitness and comfort, weather conditions and route conditions. There are inherent hazards in mountain travel such as inclement weather, avalanches, rock fall, ice fall that our guides manage yet cannot eliminate. The combination of our guides' formal training and wealth of experience assures that their sound decision create an enjoyable and safe mountain experience. Aspen Expeditions reserves the right to turn around or change routes without refunds or credits under any conditions. 




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