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.

*All field days are consecutive, 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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Overview:

American Avalanche Association Logo

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:

  • 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

Prerequisites:

  • 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

Preparation:

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)

Duration:

Evening Zoom + 6 Field Days
Course Location

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

Item Description Quantity Example Purchase At Rent At Equipment Type
Avalanche Beacon

Modern, digital, three-antennae beacon with fresh batteries.

1

Mammut Barryvox S

Online
Salt Lake: Wasatch Touring
Jackson: Teton Mountaineering
Bozeman: Uphill Pursuits

Salt Lake: Wasatch Touring
Jackson: Teton Mountaineering
Bozeman: Uphill Pursuits

Equipment
Avalanche Probe

Collapsable metal or carbon rod used to probe avalanche debris while attempting to strike a buried target.

1

Mammut Carbon Probe 280 Speed Lock

Online
Salt Lake: Wasatch Touring
Jackson: Teton Mountaineering
Bozeman: Uphill Pursuits

Salt Lake: Wasatch Touring
Jackson: Teton Mountaineering
Bozeman: Uphill Pursuits

Equipment
Avalanche Rescue Shovel

Ski specific shovel used to dig pits and avalanche rescue. A metal blade is mandatory.

1

Mammut Carbon Probe 280 Speed Lock

Online
Salt Lake: Wasatch Touring
Jackson: Teton Mountaineering
Bozeman: Uphill Pursuits

Salt Lake: Wasatch Touring
Jackson: Teton Mountaineering
Bozeman: Uphill Pursuits

Equipment
Backpack: 20-40 liter

Packs smaller than this tend not to be able to carry the necessary amount of equipment and clothing.

1

Mammut Nirvana 35L

Online
Salt Lake: Wasatch Touring
Jackson: Teton Mountaineering
Bozeman: Uphill Pursuits

Salt Lake: Wasatch Touring
Jackson: Teton Mountaineering
Bozeman: Uphill Pursuits

Equipment
Backpack: 45-65 liter

The approach to the hut will be more than 1 hour uphill. Everything you will be carrying should fit inside the pack.

1

Mammut Trion 50L Pack

Online
Salt Lake: Wasatch Touring
Jackson: Teton Mountaineering
Bozeman: Uphill Pursuits

Equipment
Baselayer Bottoms

Synthetic or Merino Wool, Lightweight or mid-weight are recommended.

1

Men: Stio Basis Midweight Merino Tight
Women: Stio Basis Midweight Merino Tight

Stio

Clothing
Beanie or Fleece Hat

Should cover the ears and fit under a helmet. Hats with fluff balls on top do not fit under helmets.

1

Stio Charlie Beanie, Stio Turpin Fleece Cuff Beanie

Stio

Clothing
Bowl, mug, fork, and spoon

Personal utensils

1

Sea to Summit Delta Camp Set

Online
Salt Lake: Wasatch Touring
Jackson: Teton Mountaineering
Bozeman: Uphill Pursuits

Equipment
Climbing Skins

Nylon or mohair. Trimmed and adjusted to fit your skis or splitboard ahead of time.

1

Fischer Climbing Skins

Online
Salt Lake: Wasatch Touring
Jackson: Teton Mountaineering
Bozeman: Uphill Pursuits

Salt Lake: Wasatch Touring
Jackson: Teton Mountaineering
Bozeman: Uphill Pursuits

Equipment
Compass

Used for navigation and orientation. A compass with adjustable declination is preferrable.

1

Silva Ranger CLQ

Online
Salt Lake: Wasatch Touring
Jackson: Teton Mountaineering
Bozeman: Uphill Pursuits

Optional
Ear Plugs

Sometimes fellow campers snore. Ear plugs may help you get quality rest.

1

Foam ear plugs

Optional
Face Mask – PPE

Should be made with at least two layers of fabric. Your mask needs to cover your nose and mouth without large gaps. The mask should have ear loops or ties so you can adjust it. Look for a mask with a bendable border at the top so you can mold the mask to fit the bridge of your nose and prevent your glasses from fogging.

2 Optional
First Aid Kit

Your guide will have an emergency First Aid Kit. You should bring a small kit including blister prevention and care products such as a role of athletic tape and Moleskin. Your kit should also contain a few Band-aids, some Tylenol and Ibuprofen.

1

Salt Lake: Wasatch Touring
Jackson: Teton Mountaineering
Bozeman: Uphill Pursuits

Optional
Floatation (Skis, Snowboard, or Snowshoes)

Students are welcome to participate on snowshoes, skis, or snowboard. Skis should have touring bindings; lightweight tech bindings are ideal. Splitboards are ideal for snowboarders. Snowboarders using resort snowboards will need to have snowshoes. All students will need poles.

1

Skis: Fischer Transalp 98 CTI
Bindings: Dynafit Radical

Splitboard: Weston Backcountry
Splitboard Bindings: Spark/Karakoram x Weston

Salt Lake: Wasatch Touring
Jackson: Teton Mountaineering
Bozeman: Uphill Pursuits

Salt Lake: Wasatch Touring
Jackson: Teton Mountaineering
Bozeman: Uphill Pursuits

Equipment
Food

Proper lunches that are prepared ahead of time are recommended (sandwich, burrito, leftover pizza, etc), along with an assortment of snack bars, gels, or trail mixes. Feeze-dried meals are acceptable on overnight trips, but not day trips.

1

Made in Nature, Thrive Tribe

Salt Lake: Wasatch Touring
Jackson: Teton Mountaineering
Bozeman: Uphill Pursuits

Equipment
Goggles

Protect your eyes and face from wind and sun burn.

1

Julbo Airflux

Salt Lake: Wasatch Touring
Jackson: Teton Mountaineering
Bozeman: Uphill Pursuits

Equipment
Hardshell Pants

These should be non-insulated pants with ankle cuffs wide enough to fit over your ski or ride boots.

1

Men: Stio Men’s Objective Pro Bibs

Women: Stio Women’s Figment Bib

Stio

Clothing
Headlamp

Load with fresh batteries. Critical for hiking before sunrise and great to have in the pack in case you are caught out after dark.

1

Salt Lake: Wasatch Touring
Jackson: Teton Mountaineering
Bozeman: Uphill Pursuits

Equipment
Heavyweight Waterproof Glove

This glove comes out when the winter going gets cold and wet or at higher altitudes.

1

Stio Objective Insulated Glove

Salt Lake: Wasatch Touring
Jackson: Teton Mountaineering
Bozeman: Uphill Pursuits

Clothing
Hot Drinks

Coffee, tea, hot cocoa are great for warming up when it’s cold outside.

1

Cusa Tea; Alpine Start Coffee

Salt Lake: Wasatch Touring
Jackson: Teton Mountaineering
Bozeman: Uphill Pursuits

Optional
Hut Shoes

Having a slipper, bootie, or Croc to walk around in while inside the hut keeps your socks dry and your feet warmer and more comfortable.

1

Salt Lake: Wasatch Touring
Jackson: Teton Mountaineering
Bozeman: Uphill Pursuits

Clothing
Laptop

Useful for navigation courses, including hiking and ski tour planning.

1 Optional
Lightweight Baselayer Top

Synthetic or Merino Wool; Worn against the skin and is considered a “wicking” layer that facilitates the movement of moisture away from the skin and through the layers. Hooded base layers add extra versatility.

2

Men: Stio Basis Midweight Merino Crew
Women: Stio Basis Midweight Merino Crew

Stio

Clothing
Lightweight Gloves

Synthetic; Thin gloves used when hiking the early morning approach. Belay gloves can suffice if full-fingered.

1

Stio Seeker Glove

Stio

Clothing
Lip Balm SPF 15 or higher.

Non-SPF rated lip balms can actually increase your chances of getting burned.

1

Rocky Mountain Sunscreen Lip Balm

Salt Lake: Wasatch Touring
Jackson: Teton Mountaineering
Bozeman: Uphill Pursuits

Optional
Mechanical Pencil

Great for taking notes in the field.

1 Optional
Midweight Baselayer Top

Synthetic or Merino Wool; Adds extra warmth and protection from the cold and wind without creating a moisture barrier as a jacket would. Having at least one base layer that is hooded adds versatility, protecting the neck and ears from cold winds.

1

Men: Stio Gannett Peak Fleece Half Zip
Women: Stio Gannett Peak Fleece Half Zip

Stio

Clothing
Midweight Softshell Glove

This is the workhorse glove and is most often worn on warmer days when mountaineering. Softshell gloves are water-resistant and durable. They often have leather palms and fingers.

1

Stio Trail Creek Glove

Stio

Clothing
Neck Gaiter

“Buffs” are quite versatile in their uses. They can be used as light beanies, neck warmers, and can offer face protection from the cold wind or sun.

1

Stio Neck Gaiters

Stio

Clothing
Pajamas

It can be nice to have something clean to change into each night for sleeping in your sleeping bag.

1 Clothing
Personal Care Items

Medications, glasses or contacts, feminine products, etc.

1 Optional
Personal Toilet Kit

At minimum, bring a small Ziploc with toilet paper. Consider bringing a travel sized package of hand-wipes. Idealy, purchase, or for free from the RMNP Backcountry office, bring a “Rest Stop.” The Rest Stop, known as “Blue Bags” in the Pacific Northwest, or the “Wag Bag” in other areas, are poop-in-a-bag systems that include toilet paper and a sanitizing hand wipe.

1

Salt Lake: Wasatch Touring
Jackson: Teton Mountaineering
Bozeman: Uphill Pursuits

Optional
Ski Helmet

This item is recommended but not required. We will be skiing in the trees, and in snow conditions where rocks, stumps, and downded logs are present.

1

Camp Speed Comp

Salt Lake: Wasatch Touring
Jackson: Teton Mountaineering
Bozeman: Uphill Pursuits

Equipment
Ski or Snowboard Boots

Footwear should be appropriate to mode of travel i.e. ski, snowboard, or insulated winter boots for snowshoes. For snowshoers, a boot such as the Scarpa Mont Blanc is the minimum level of boot required. Ski Boots should have a walk mode.

1

Scarpa Maestrale RS

Salt Lake: Wasatch Touring
Jackson: Teton Mountaineering
Bozeman: Uphill Pursuits

Salt Lake: Wasatch Touring
Jackson: Teton Mountaineering
Bozeman: Uphill Pursuits

Equipment
Ski or Trekking Poles

Two poles, with powder baskets, are required for all skiers, splitboarders, and snowshoers. It is ideal if poles are ski-specific and collapse small enough to fit onto a pack when climbing.

1

One Way TR Vario

Salt Lake: Wasatch Touring
Jackson: Teton Mountaineering
Bozeman: Uphill Pursuits

Salt Lake: Wasatch Touring
Jackson: Teton Mountaineering
Bozeman: Uphill Pursuits

Equipment
Ski Straps

18″ Rubber or velcro straps to connect skis when attaching them to a pack. Also useful for a variety of in-the-field equipment repairs.

2

BCA Ski Strap

Salt Lake: Wasatch Touring
Jackson: Teton Mountaineering
Bozeman: Uphill Pursuits

Optional
Skis or Snowboard

Skis should have touring bindings; lightweight tech bindings are ideal. Splitboards are ideal for snowboarders. Snowboarders using resort snowboards will need to have snowshoes and poles.

1

Skis: Fischer Transalp 98 CTI

Bindings: Dynafit Radical

Splitboard: Weston Backcountry
Splitboard Bindings: Spark/Karakoram x Weston

Salt Lake: Wasatch Touring
Jackson: Teton Mountaineering
Bozeman: Uphill Pursuits

Salt Lake: Wasatch Touring
Jackson: Teton Mountaineering
Bozeman: Uphill Pursuits

Equipment
Sleeping Bag (10° to 35°)

Down or synthetic sleeping bag is acceptible.

1

Rab Neutrino 400

Salt Lake: Wasatch Touring
Jackson: Teton Mountaineering
Bozeman: Uphill Pursuits

Salt Lake: Wasatch Touring
Jackson: Teton Mountaineering
Bozeman: Uphill Pursuits

Equipment
Slope Meter (Inclinometer)

Used to measure slope angle, this tool is a standard equipment item for any backcountry traveler in avalanche terrain.

1

BCA Slope Meter

Salt Lake: Wasatch Touring
Jackson: Teton Mountaineering
Bozeman: Uphill Pursuits

Optional
Smart Phone App

There are a plethora of apps that assist in navigation. These apps use your phone’s GPS functions and can work in the mountains offline.

1

Avanet; Gaia Maps; Topo Maps

Optional
Smartphone

Great for taking photos and videos. Smartphone batteries tend to shut down in freezing temps – keep your phone in a warm inner layer. A tether is ideal in the mountains to protet against dropping your phone.

1 Optional
Snow Saw

For cutting columns during snowpack analysis – Note that this is mandatory on Pro Courses.

1

BCA 35cm Snow  Saw

Salt Lake: Wasatch Touring
Jackson: Teton Mountaineering
Bozeman: Uphill Pursuits

Optional
Snow Study Kit

Crystal card, magnifying lens, thermometers, 2 meter ruler – Note that this is mandatory on pro courses.

1

BCA Snow Study Kit

Salt Lake: Wasatch Touring
Jackson: Teton Mountaineering
Bozeman: Uphill Pursuits

Equipment
Softshell and Fleece Jacket

Water-resistant, windproof, yet it “breaths,” which means it allows moisture to move through. Hoods are ideal. There are multiple thicknesses of Softshell jackets. A lightweight or medium-weight jacket is preferred. Fleece jackets are acceptable.

1

Men: Stio Sidecut Tech Hoodie
Women: Stio Sidecut Tech Hoodie

Stio

Clothing
Sports Bra

Provides support and allows for full range of motion

1

North Face Beyond the Wall

Salt Lake: Wasatch Touring
Jackson: Teton Mountaineering
Bozeman: Uphill Pursuits

Clothing
Sun Hat

A billed hat to keep the bright mountain sun at bay.

1

Stio Ballcaps and Truckers

Stio

Clothing
Sunglasses

“Wrap-Around” style sunglasses with 100% UV Protection.

1

Julbo Shield

Salt Lake: Wasatch Touring
Jackson: Teton Mountaineering
Bozeman: Uphill Pursuits

Equipment
SunscreenSPF 30 or higher.

Travel size.

1

Rocky Mountain Sunscreen SPF 50

Salt Lake: Wasatch Touring
Jackson: Teton Mountaineering
Bozeman: Uphill Pursuits

Equipment
Synthetic or Down Puffy Jacket

Fits over all other layers and is worn at breaks and on really cold days. Synthetic puffies are more durable, are easily laundered, and dry out quickly if wet. Down puffies are lighter weight, pack smaller, and provide exceptional warmth, but once wet, they stay wet.

1

Men: Stio Men’s Hometown Down Hooded Jacket
Women: Stio Women’s Hometown Down Hooded Jacket

Stio

Clothing
Synthetic or Merino Wool Socks

Wool and synthetic blends are great for long days on the trail. “Ski” and “Snowboard” socks are especially useful when warmth is desired.

2

Stio All Mountain Lightweight Ski Sock

Stio

Clothing
Thermos

Many backcountry travelers prefer to bring a thermos of hot water or soup instead of one of their water bottles.

1

Salt Lake: Wasatch Touring
Jackson: Teton Mountaineering
Bozeman: Uphill Pursuits

Optional
Toe Warmers and Hand Heaters

Help keep you warm on particularly cold days.

1

Salt Lake: Wasatch Touring
Jackson: Teton Mountaineering
Bozeman: Uphill Pursuits

Optional
Toiletries

Bring enough for the trip. Toothpaste; brush, floss, deodorant, lotion, eye drops, wet wipes, hand sanitizer, etc.

1 Optional
Watch with Altimiter

An altimeter is very useful in gauging progression of altitude gain or loss when climbing, and especially when visibility is decreased due to weather. Many Altimeter watches have compasses or GPS tracking functions.

1

Coros Vertix 2

Salt Lake: Wasatch Touring
Jackson: Teton Mountaineering
Bozeman: Uphill Pursuits

Optional
Water Bottles

1 liter bottles are the standard. Bladders such as Camelbacks and Platypus are acceptable for above freezing temps, but only in conjunction with another bottle. Bladders are not acceptable during sub freezing temps. Sports drinks are also acceptable.

2

Nalgene, Hydro Flask

Salt Lake: Wasatch Touring
Jackson: Teton Mountaineering
Bozeman: Uphill Pursuits

Equipment
Waterproof Shell Jacket

Non-insulated, Gore-Tex, Dermizax, Event, or other waterproofing system is required. Mostly, this jacket sits in the bottom of your pack and comes out when the weather gets nasty with precipitation. This jacket should fit over all other layers.

1

Men: Stio Men’s Objective Pro Jacket
Women: Stio Women’s Figment Jacket

Stio

Clothing

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