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AIARE Avy 2 Hut course

Refine and build on your avy education in our hut based

avy 2 course.


Proof of a Level 1 Avalanche Course & Companion Rescue Course is required for all level 2 avalanche course participants

AIARE Avy 2 hut course overview

The AIARE Avy 2 Hut Course is designed to build on the introductory avalanche hazard management model introduced in the AIARE 1 and adds evaluation of critical hazard assessment factors to the curriculum. You will learn how to describe and discuss weather, snowpack, and the avalanche processes. Going into even further detail we will discuss how these processes relate to observations and travel within avalanche terrain. Based out of the Addie S hut on Red Mountain Pass, you will  spend day and night with your peers and instructors building on your foundation of avalanche education. In a hut format you spend more time skiing, more time learning from and observing your instructors, and more time in the mountains—all with lodging and food included. When you take your level two with San Juan Expeditions you will get hands-on experience analyzing the avalanche hazard and using your observations to make decisions in the field. We are committed to providing both tools for understanding the avalanche problem and the terrain management skills you can only get from observing an experienced guide.

Our course leaders are both AIARE certified instructors and AMGA (American Mountain Guides Association) trained guides. So when you take one of our courses you know you will be under the mentorship of an experienced and qualified guide, not just an instructor.

This means you will not only learn about avalanche theory but you will apply what you have learned by going skiing/riding under the mentorship of an experienced guide and by making real decisions.


AIARE Level 2 Course 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 includes facilitating small group discussions, 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 absence of local supporting avalanche information.


Why take a San Juan Expedition’s avalanche course?

1. We are based in Silverton and Durango, Colorado – The premier location to learn about avalanche education in the United States with a history of avalanche research.

2. Our AIARE Avalanche Instructors are also trained by the AMGA (American Mountain Guides Association). We are not just avalanche instructors but also guides with experience in a variety of terrain and snowpacks all around the world.

3. By taking our AIARE Level 1 course you get exclusive access to San Juan Expeditions Mentorship Days and Alumni groups. We are committed to helping you continue your education after your AIARE course is finished and want to connect you with other competent partners within our community.

who we are

We stand behind and hand-select everyone of our guides/instructors. All of our guides are educators first and experienced mountain athletes second. This year we have two guides that have been listed for “Piolet D’or” awards and have previously received grants for cutting edge expeditions around the world. Our team is sponsored by “The North Face” and contribute to the new product lines of technical outerwear. We have a reputation for safety in the rugged and dynamic environment of the San Juan Mountains and we take safety very seriously. We are respected in the local Durango/Silverton, community and by our happy loyal clients (see our Google reviews).


intermediate difficulty


Duration Scale 3 days v2





You must have completed an AIARE Avalanche Rescue course & Level 1 Avalanche Course before being eligible to participate in an AIARE Avy 2 course.

Where You Will Stay

Silverton Lodging

Silverton provides an ideal base camp for our AIARE Avy 2 Hut Course and the Addie S cabin puts us on the door step of our classroom for duration of the class. Perched just off the summit of Red Mountain Pass, the Addie S cabin boasts incredible views, unparalleled access to amazing skiing, and a cozy environment to hit the books and learn the fundamentals of avy education. With next to no light pollution, stepping out on the deck and gazing up reveals a sky littered with stars. Surrounded by nature you can’t help but begin to pick up on the subtle signs we will teach out to observe when considering terrain selection during the course. There truly is no better way to learn avy education than from a mountain hut.  

where we will meet

The first morning of the AIARE Avy 2 Course we will have a meeting at San Juan Expeditions HQ.  We will go over the itinerary for the next three days, you will meet your guides, we will be sure all liability waivers have been completed and then we will begin the classroom portion of the AIARE Avy 2 Course. During this meeting we will adhere to our COVID-19 policy to ensure all our participants safety is prioritized. After the first day of the course, meeting locations may vary depending on the tour plans for the following days. All this information will be shared with you by your guides and instructors.

SJE HQ Asset

What is Included in the cost?

included in trip cost icon

– Three days with an AMGA certified & trained guide

– Federal land usage surcharge (USFS/BLM)

– Avalanche rescue equipment (beacon, shovel, and probe)

– AIARE Field Notebook

– Lodging at the Addie S hut

– Breakfast & dinner

Not Included Icon

– Guide gratuity

– Snow travel equipment (splitboard or AT skis)

– Personal clothing/gear

* If you need to rent equipment locally visit our partners at Cripple Creek Backcountry and pick up your gear at our shop in Silverton.

Course Gallery

(Click for full size image)


Anyone participating in our programs must fill out a waiver beforehand. If you are under 18, please have your parent/guardian complete.


Please familiarize yourself with our Booking & Cancellation Policies.


Skiers/riders should be in good physical condition, and confident/comfortable on their method of snow travel (backcountry touring skis or splitboard).