Hut Based Level 2: Analyzing Snow Stability and Avalanche Hazard
The AIARE Level II course is a 4-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 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.
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
Thursday, Friday and 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.
Introduction, Goals & Objectives
Formation and Nature of Avalanches
In the Field: Full Profile Demo
In the Classroom: Set up Snow Profile page
Weather Observations page
Avalanche Observations page
Factors that Affect / Indicate Snow Stability
In the Field studying Avalanche Terrain
Review Mountain Snowpack & Discuss Current Stability
Case History Exercise
Stability Analysis Process
Field Trip – Route Finding
Group Management, Developing Leadership & Decision-Making Skills