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March 6-8, 2020 (Prerequisite Rescue Course *booked separately) HUT BASED at Addie S


3 days


Coal Bank Pass, Molas Pass, Red Mountain Pass, Silverton, CO


Level 2 – $775 *does not include 1 day companion rescue course pre-requisite

Client to Guide Ratio

Level 1 up to 6:1

Instructional Sessions

40 hours including classroom and field instruction)

  1. Level 1 Review
  2. Energy balance, the mountain snowpack and metamorphism
  3. Faceting; near surface and near crust faceting
  4. Formation of surface hoar and persistent weak layers
  5. Skier triggering: theory and observations
  6. International and national, snow weather and avalanche observation and recording guidelines (SWAG).
  7. Stability analysis checklist: reviewing critical factors
  8. Trip Planning and hazard forecasting for avalanche terrain
  9. Terrain selection and route finding
  10. Information gathering
  11. Companion Rescue

Student Learning Outcomes

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

Price Includes

  • AIARE qualified instructors
  • AMGA Certified Ski Guide, Alpine Guide, or IFMGA Licensed Mountain Guide as the lead instructor
  • AIARE Course Manual
  • AIARE Avalanche field book.
  • AIARE Certificate of Completion
  • Use of Backcountry Access avalanche equipment; DTS Tracker beacon, traverse shovelSpot 203 probe.
  • Snow, Weather, and Avalanche Guidelines (SWAG)
  • Four nights at Addie S Cabin, breakfasts, dinners while on course
  • Federal Land Use Surcharge (USFS/BLM)

Price Does Not Include

  • Travel to Durango, Silverton, and the hut from your location
  • Backcountry ski touring equipment; skis, skins, packs etc.  These are all available to rent from our partner shop Backcountry Experience. Additional fees apply for ski equipment rental.  Please inquire for more information.
  • Items of personal nature
  • Individual travel costs, delays, and excess baggage fees
  • Personal clothing and ski equipment
  • Alcoholic drinks and personal snacks
  • Hotels before and after trip
  • Recommended Travel/trip cancelation insurance. We highly recommend this!
  • Guide/Staff gratuity


  • Harness: This should be a UIAA rated comfortable all day climbing harness with four gear loops. The Camp Laser is our current favorite
  • Climbing Shoes: These should be comfortable all day sticky rubber climbing shoes. While extremely tight sport climbing shoes will work, we recommend the La Sportiva TC Pro.
  • Climbing helmet: This must be a UIAA/CE rated climbing helmet. The Camp Speed is our current favorite.
  • Nylon runner: This needs to be a 48 inch nylon runner.
  • Belay Device: Tube style belay device. We like the Black Diamond ATC Guide.
  • Locking Carabiners: (2)
  • Non-locking carabiner: (2)
  • Small backpack: This should be large enough to carry some food, water, a camera, your extra layer and your approach shoes. If you do not have one, don’t worry. We have packs that you can use. The Black Diamond Hollowpoint works great.
  • Approach shoes: These should be comfortable approach shoes. These will be what you wear hiking in to the climb. The La Sportiva Boulder are a great shoe.
  • Socks: Synthetic or wool.
  • Climbing Pants: We recommend climbing in pants. These protect our legs more than shorts, and give us a wider variety of options for temperature swings. The Patagonia Rock Guide are a great option.
  • Synthetic T shirt: This will be what you climb in the majority of the time.
  • Mid weight long: Fleece or wool top for warmth in the chilly mornings over the t-shirt
    Light weight jacket: This will be worn in the mornings and at the belays to protect from wind. The Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer is a great option.


  • Participants must have the ability to travel in avalanche terrain.
  • An AIARE 1 Course (strongly recommended) or equivalent Level 1 training is required.
  • A winter of practical experience after the Level 1 course is required before taking the
  • AIARE or AAA approved one-day Avalanche Rescue Course.


Single and multi-day trips available

Registration & Cancelation

  • Unfortunately, due to extremely high demand we have a very strict registration and cancelation policy. We can not transfer you to an other program. WE HIGHLY RECOMMEND PURCHASING TRAVEL INSURANCE! We recommend the TravelEx Insurance Travel Select plan with the Adventurer Plus Pak upgrade.
  • To reserve your spot on a domestic climbing or skiing program please fill out the enclosed application and return it to us along with a 50% deposit if applying more than 60 days out. If your trip/ course starts in less than 60 days please submit full payment.
  • Program fees are non-transferable. If notice of cancellation is given in writing at least 60 days prior to the trip start date, you will be refunded your fulldeposit except for a $50 processing fee.
  • If notice of cancellation is given in writing within 59 – 30 days prior to the trip start date, a cancellation fee equal to the deposit amount will be charged. If notice of cancellation is given in writing less than 30 days prior to the trip start date, a cancellation fee equal to 100% of the program fee will be charged.

AIARE Level 2 Avalanche Courses

Analyzing Snow Stability and Avalanche Terrain

Our Level 2 course is a 40-hour / 4.5 day program that provides back country leaders the opportunity to advance their avalanche knowledge and decision making skills. All Level 2s are hut based at the Addie S Cabin on Red Mountain Pass. This course also includes the introductory and prerequisite components for the professional progression: the AIARE Level 3 Certificate. The Level 2 builds from the introductory avalanche hazard management model introduced in the level one and adds to it the evaluation of factors critical to stability evaluation.

Step outside of ordinary and see your AIARE avalanche course from a different perspective!

For 2016 our AIARE Level 2 avalanche courses will be held at the Addie S Cabin on Red Mountain Pass. The hut is located on Hwy 550 one 1/2 mile south of the top of the pass in the San Juan Mountains. This is a drive-to hut right off the road providing the ideal classroom. Total fees include; 4 nights of lodging at the hut as well as breakfasts & dinners. The hut has a full kitchen, running water, hot shower, wood stove, and electricity. Check in is the night prior to the course. This allows us to get settled and begin the course in the morning at the hut with no transition.