Professional Avalanche Training 2

  • Price: $2,599.00
  • Duration: Evening Zoom + 6 Field Days

This Pro 2 avalanche course is for avalanche workers moving into leadership roles within their operations or for experienced workers who desire to continue to develop their risk management leadership skills.

*Course date indicates first day in the field. A mandatory pre-course zoom meeting is held from 6-8pm on the evening before each course start date.


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This course is the highest level of formal avalanche training in the U.S.. The course is designed for avalanche workers moving into leadership roles within their operations or for experienced workers who desire to continue to develop their risk management leadership skills. The course progresses beyond hazard analysis and moves into avalanche forecasting for different avalanche problems, snow climates and operations. The course will advance the skills for both mitigation-based and avoidance-based avalanche professionals. The tools taught and practiced will apply equally well for ski patrollers, guides, outdoor educators, public avalanche forecasters, and highway program personnel. The course will also address the distinctions between “mitigators” and guides and add tools for both sets to use. Approximately half of the course is classroom based and half is field based. We will travel in the backcountry, in and around avalanche terrain.

*This is a pass/fail course

Have questions on the pro/rec split? See our pro/rec frequently asked questions page for more details, including a visual of the course progression.

Sample Itinerary:

Day 1: Intro Evening Zoom Meeting; 6pm – 8pm

  • 6:00 – Course Intro, Goals, Expectations, Course Logistics for tomorrow and beyond, Q&A, weather stations, weather and avalanche forecasts, season history – current problems/state of the snow pack, significant events, and review of AM form
  • 8:00 – End of Day

Day 2: Field Day; 7:30am –  5:30pm | Field Obs and Troubleshooting

  • 7:30 – Meet @ trailhead, Morning Avalanche Hazard Assessment, Shakedown tour with appropriate snow obs, Ongoing snow, weather and avalanche observations
  • 2:00 – Meet at Classroom, Share concise obs and fill in collective PM form, Mechanics Review, Q&A, Review Ops ex specifics
  • 5:30 – End of Day

Homework – Complete PM form and start AM form

Day 3: Field Day; 7:30am – 5pm | Operations Exercise and Avalanche Atlas

  • 7:30 – Meet @ trailhead, Morning Hazard Assessment (Student-Led), Tour to Ops ex location, ongoing snowpack and terrain obs
    Collect Data and pictures for ops ex
  • 3:30 – Return to trailhead, Share concise obs, Q&A, Day 3 logistics
  • 5:00 – End of Day

Homework – PM Form, Prep for AM Form, Ops Exercise/Avalanche Atlas, Tour plan for tomorrow, Submit: Field book photos (snow obs and observation rose) 

Day 4: Field Day; 7:30am – 4:00pm | Public/Operational Forecasting

  • 7:30 – Meet @ trailhead, Morning Hazard Assessment, Ops ex Q&A, Multi-Aspect and Multi-elevation tour, Review obs,
    2:00 – Return to trailhead, Share concise obs between field groups, Using CMAH to discern avalanche hazard discussion, Discussion about crafting a well-crafted bottom line, Q&A from Day, Logistics for tomorrow
  • 4:00 – End of Day

Homework: Complete PM Form, Tour Plan, Finish Ops Exercise, Submit: PM Form, Ops Exercise

Day 5: Field Day; 7:30am – 12:30pm | Forecasting Continued

  • 7:30 – Meet @ trailhead, AM Hazard Assessment, Morning tour, Share concise obs between field groups
  • 12:30 End of Day

Homework: Finish Technical Report, Craft bottom line statement/operational summary, 3 Questions, Submit: Bottom line/operational summary, Any missing documents

Day 6: Field Day; 7:30am – 5:00pm | Organized Rescue – Moving Groups Through Avalanche Terrain

  • 8:00 – Meet at Classroom, AM Hazard assessment, Q&A, logistics, Risk Management class and Legal Case Study Review, Storm Profile Exercise, Introduction to SAR Response scenario
    1:00 – Meet at trailhead, SAR Call out, Student-planned travel to location and facilitate rescue/recovery, Complete accident investigation, Photos, Avalanche info, Snow Analysis
    5:00 – End of Day

Homework: Complete accident short form and submit

Day 7: Field Day; 7:30am – 3:00pm | Technical Reports and Final Exam

  • 8:00 – Meet at Classroom, Oral presentations, Stump the Chumps, Q&A, Course Debrief
  • 1:00 – Final Exam link shared
  • 3:00 – Final Exam submitted, Course Close

All Upcoming Dates and Locations:

  • February 26, 2024 - March 2, 2024 - Professional Avalanche Training 2 - Alta, Utah
  • January 22, 2024 - January 27, 2024 - Professional Avalanche Training 2 - Frisco, Colorado
  • January 2, 2024 - January 7, 2024 - Professional Avalanche Training 2 - Girdwood, Alaska
  • January 8, 2024 - January 13, 2024 - Professional Avalanche Training 2 - Jackson, Wyoming
  • January 29, 2024 - February 3, 2024 - Professional Avalanche Training 2 - Salt Lake City, Utah
  • February 12, 2024 - February 17, 2024 - Professional Avalanche Training 2 - Jackson, Wyoming
  • March 11, 2024 - March 16, 2024 - Professional Avalanche Training 2 - Jackson, Wyoming

This course focuses on the following knowledge and skill sets:

  • Improved understanding of snowpack formation & metamorphism
  • An overview of current understanding of avalanche release (related back to what practitioners can readily observe in the field)
  • Understanding, and accounting for, spatial variability
  • Strengths and limitations of stability tests
  • Professional standard of recording data and record keeping.
  • Creating personal/professional forecasts and nowcasts based on available information
  • Making operational decisions based upon avalanche hazard analysis
  • Recognizing trends and patterns in stability
  • Efficient & accurate route-finding and group management in complex terrain
  • Human factors that influence decision-making as professionals and recreationists
  • Technical report writing


  • Professional Level 1 avalanche course or Professional Level 1 Bridge Course
  • Proof of payment of A3 Pro Course Student Fee
  • Minimum of one season between the Professional Level 1 & Level 2 used to apply the tools and strategies learned on a pro level 1.
  • 40+ days of operational experience over two seasons
  • Reference from supervisor
  • Submission of 2 operational meeting forms, 2 full pit profiles, 2 days of field observations


Recommended Reading:

  • Staying Alive in Avalanche Terrain, Bruce Tremper
  • Snow, Weather and Avalanches: Observational Guidelines for Avalanche Programs in the United States (SWAG)
  • The Snowy Torrents (A3)
  • The Avalanche Review (A3)


Evening Zoom + 6 Field Days
Course Location

Alta, UT, Frisco, CO, Girdwood, AK, Jackson, WY, Salt Lake City, UT


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