Avalanche in Parc des Écrins

AIARE 2 Avalanche Course



The AIARE 2 course is a great continued education for advanced backcountry travelers and team leaders. For those transitioning to professional careers in ski patrolling. guiding. or other snow safety positions this is a mandatory course. For everyone else, this course is an excellent way to build on the AIARE 1 Decision Making Framework by improving the quality and quantity of observations and learning to apply decision making strategies to more complex terrain and scenarios. This course includes an update of companion rescue skills training including search techniques for multiple and deep burials and improving rescue response. Location for this course is the June Mountain backcountry!


2017 Dates: Feb 24-27





AIARE 2 Avalanche Course

AIARE Level 2 Avalanche Seminar: Analyzing Snow Stability and Avalanche Hazard

The AIARE Level 2 course is a 4-day program that provides backcountry leaders the opportunity to advance their avalanche knowledge and decision making skills. This course also includes the introductory and prerequisite components for the next step in the professional progression: the Level 3 certificate.

The Level 2 builds from the introductory avalanche hazard management model introduced in the Level 1 and adds to it the evaluation of factors critical to stability evaluation.

Student Learning Outcomes:

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

Instructional Sessions (40 hours including both class and field) include:

  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).
    – Weather; interpreting forecasts, recording and observation techniques
    – Snow profile techniques and bonding tests
    – Avalanche observations and recording techniques
  7. Stability analysis checklist: reviewing critical factors
    – Stability ratings
    – Daily stability forecasts and analysis
  8. Trip Planning and hazard forecasting for avalanche terrain.
    – The avalanche danger ratings
    – Terrain analysis using maps/photos
    – Forecasting stability and variability
  9. Terrain selection and route finding
    – Group management and hazard management
    – Decision making
    – Human factors
  10. Information gathering
    – Site selection and relevancy
    – Spatial variability
    – Slope tests
  11. Companion Rescue
    – Level 1 techniques review
    – Multiple burial
    – Shovel techniques

Additional information

2017 Dates:

February 24-26


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