AIARE Recreational Level 2 at Opus Hut: Analyzing Snow Stability and Avalanche Hazard
The AIARE Recreational Level II course is a 3-day program that provides backcountry leaders and aspiring snow professionals the opportunity to advance their avalanche knowledge and decision making skills. The Level II 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.
This course is for experienced backcountry travelers. Please contact us on questions.
Level II Course Objectives:
- To improve the students avalanche hazard evaluation and personal forecasting capability.
- Use and analyze snowpack and weather data.
- Teach industry standard methods for weather and snowpack data collection and documentation.
- To practice route finding skills and applying forecasts to terrain.
- To gain more experience dealing with complex companion rescue.
Level II Curriculum
Tour Planning, Snowpack Metamorphism, Avalanche Mechanics, Observations: standards and recording, Forecasts, Mountain Weather, Route Finding, Stability Assessment, Decision Making, Group Management, Full and Test Pit Profiles, Rescue Leadership and Multiple Burial Scenarios.
Level II Field Sessions
Friday, Saturday afternoon and most of the day on Sunday will be spent traveling into the backcountry with an instructor to participate in experiential sessions that examine topics discussed in the classroom. Field sessions include: multiple burial companion rescue, route finding and safe travel, backcountry stability assessment, full and test pit profiles, fracture line profiles and a snow crystallography lab. These sessions will also be an opportunity for instructors to evaluate where students need continued study to best support their aspirations.
About the Hut
This course is based in a hut high in the beautiful San Juan mountains. Food and accommodation is all inclusive in the fee. Being immersed in the mountains allows for more field time and an intimate interaction with the snow environment.
The Opus hut is located high a top Ophir Pass and offers access to some the best and backcountry skiing in the U.S. With low angle glades below and open slopes above. Perched at treeline on sunny south facing slopes, ski terrain of all aspects and ability levels surround the hut. The Opus Hut is a hand build, eco-friendly lodge, crafted with European influence and sustainable energy practices. Rustic wood interior, multiple decks and a wood burning fire place add a cozy feel to this high mountain hut. Learn more by visiting their website here.