Avalanche Level 2

Course Description

3 1/2-days or 33 hours 450

The rec level 2 course is designed for backcountry recreationists with level 1 avalanche skills who want to go deeper with their snow and avalanche knowledge, as well as travel in more complex terrain.  On this course, we spend time expanding student’s knowledge of the science of snow metamorphism, and apply this knowledge to have a better understanding of the season snowpack history and the nature of existing avalanche problems.  We utilize the AAI Backcountry Avalanche Checklist as a system for sorting and prioritizing information in the field, setting a tone of teamwork, and minimizing human factor traps.

Forty percent of the course is classroom based and the other sixty percent is field based. We will travel in the backcountry, in and around avalanche terrain.

This course will cover the following:

  • Tracking the season snowpack history
  • Characteristics of the different avalanche problems
  • Weather history, avalanche problems, and stability assessment
  • Formation of persistent weak layers – facets, depth hoar, surface hoar
  • Wet snow metamorphism
  • Avalanche terrain – large & small scale features
  • Group management in challenging/complex terrain
  • Stability tests – incorporating strength, structure and propagation potential
  • Introduction to SWAG documentation
  • Tour planning
  • Use of the AAI Backcountry Avalanche Checklist as a field tool for sorting & prioritizing information
  • Human factor traps and solutions
  • Case studies with analysis using AAI Backcountry Avalanche Checklist

Sample Schedule:

Prerequisites

  • Level 1 avalanche course
  • Minimum of one season between the level 1 & level 2 used to apply the tools and strategies learned on a level 1.

Recommended Reading

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

Additional Information

Still have questions? See our frequently asked questions section for details on gear, what’s provided on a course, and more.

Course City State Dates Cost
Level 2 Course Jackson WY 12/15-12/18 $ 450 Sign Up! (17/18 spots taken)
Level 2 Course Salt Lake City UT 12/18-12/21 $ 450 Wait-list
Level 2 Course Salt Lake City UT 01/05-01/08 $ 450 Wait-list
Level 2 Course Bozeman MT 01/12-01/15 $ 450 Wait-list
Level 2 Course Jackson WY 01/12-01/15 $ 450 Wait-list
Level 2 Course Salt Lake City UT 02/01-02/04 $ 450 Sign Up! (7/12 spots taken)
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