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Trip

AIARE 2 Avalanche Course

Overview

The AIARE 2 course builds on your experience as a backcountry traveler. You will learn tools to apply the AIARE Framework, the repeatable process you learned in an AIARE 1, to new situations and to self-direct your learning after the course. You will learn more skills to connect weather, snowpack and avalanche processes, and identify how these processes relate to observations and travel within avalanche terrain. This can enable you to act as a leader within a small travel group and to identify and target reducing uncertainty about the terrain or conditions. We offer this course with field days at Snoqualmie Pass or Crystal Mountain.  Please scroll down to the Trip Information section to see the specific configuration for each course (including dates, mode of travel, day of week for classroom and field days, location, and in person versus Zoom classroom options).

 

$550 Per Person
3 Days
Difficulty
Ratio:
6:1, 12:2

Trip Information

$550
Price based on 6 students per instructor. 425-888-6397 x2 | info@proguiding.com

AIARE 2 builds on your experience as a backcountry traveler. You will learn tools to apply The AIARE Framework, the repeatable process you learned in an AIARE 1, to new situations and to self-direct your learning after the course. You will learn more skills to connect weather, snowpack and avalanche processes, and identify how these processes relate to observations and travel within avalanche terrain. This can enable you to act as a leader within a small travel group and to identify and target reducing uncertainty about the terrain or conditions.

Why Take Your AIARE 2 with Us? 

Our guides have some of the highest quality training and certification in the industry, and you can be sure that we have the permits, licenses and insurance for every location we operate in. Our instructors have completed (at least) an AIARE Instructor Training Course and are members of the American Avalanche Association, and many of them are AMGA-certified guides, Wilderness First Responders, EMTs, and/or Leave No Trace educators.  You always get a safe, high-quality trip or learning environment with us. You will travel and learn from experts. We've pioneered several alpine climbing routes, ski descents, and traverses and we've written books on backcountry skills and routes.

Who Should Take this Course?

AIARE 2 provides backcountry leaders the opportunity to advance their avalanche knowledge and decision-making skills. The prerequisites for this course are AIARE 1, an Avalanche Rescue course, and a winter of practical experience after taking AIARE 1.

The minimum requirement for all AIARE courses is a strong upper intermediate skiing or snowboarding ability in all types of terrain and conditions. The backcountry terrain on Snoqualmie Pass is challenging for splitboarders and the skill level has to be a bit higher still than for skiers. This means you are comfortable in ungroomed conditions in all types of snow (heavy, wet snow, powder, ice, breakable crust, etc). You should be able to make controlled turns in difficult, steep and tight terrain with any of the above mentioned snow conditions. It doesn't have to be pretty, but it should not cause stress. It is important to have had at least some practice with your touring equipment before taking this course. Again, this is not for the new or novice downhill skier or snowboarder; you should feel pretty dialed to ride anything downhill in your touring equipment and while carrying a pack.

What You’ll Learn 

During an AIARE 2 course, you’ll spend time learning these skills, both in a classroom setting and in the field: 

  • Differentiating where specific avalanche hazards exist within the landscape
  • Identifying avalanche terrain where consequences may be more severe
  • Using and interpreting weather, snow, and avalanche observations to make more specific terrain decisions
  • Leadership skills to use in a small team, including facilitating small group discussion, promoting appropriate terrain selection, and utilizing simple risk management strategies

 

Course Dates/Times. Please note the order of classroom and field days could change due to weather/snow/road conditions for the 3 consecutive day courses; plan to be available to potentially go into the field on a scheduled classroom day.

2022-2023 Dates Location Schedule Classroom Type Mode of Travel
Dec 13-18 Snoqualmie Tu/Th Evening Classroom; Sa/Su Field Zoom Ski, Splitboard, or Snowshoe
Jan 6-8 Snoqualmie Fri Classroom; Sat/Sun Field Zoom Ski, Splitboard, or Snowshoe
Jan 27-29 Snoqualmie Fri Classroom; Sat/Sun Field Zoom Ski, Splitboard, or Snowshoe
Feb 18-20 Snoqualmie Sat Classroom; Sun/Mon Field In person Ski, Splitboard, or Snowshoe
March 3-5 Crystal Sat Classroom; Sun/Mon Field Zoom Ski, Splitboard, or Snowshoe

 

Please note that you will only see the start date for the course when you are booking. If the date shows 0 open spots, the course is sold out and you may opt to join the waitlist for that course.  You may join as many waitlists as you like.

Duration: 3
Ratio: 6:1, 12:2
Difficulty Level:
Click here to learn more about difficulty ratings.

Overall Difficulty Level: Moderate

Skills Required: Solid intermediate skiing skills or snowshoeing skills.

Fitness Level: Moderately Strenuous


Private Trips Available

Pro Guiding Service proudly offers the most diverse ski touring and ski mountaineering programs of any guiding service in the Northwest.
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Itinerary

AIARE 2 Sample Course Curriculum

Day 1 - Classroom

Online/Zoom: usually 9:00-11:00am and 1:00-3:00pm OR two evening sessions 6:00-8:00pm

In Person: usually 8-4 full day (with lunch break)

  • The Changing Mountain Snowpack
  • AIARE 1 Review
  • Mountain Weather
  • The Layered Mountain Snowpack
  • Trip Planning Review
  • Snow profiles in the Field

Day 2 - 1st Field Day (8:00am to 4:00pm)

  • Making quality observations
  • Avalanche formation and release
  • Interpreting weather data, snow surface conditions, and snow profiles
  • Craftsmanship, relevancy, and verification of snow observations
  • Risk management in small groups
  • Snowpack tests in the field

Day 3 - 2nd Field Day (8:00am to 4:00pm)

  • Applying Observations to Field Decisions
  • Traveling in the Field as a Small Team
  • Field Risk Management and During Action Review
  • Communicating Observations to our group, other travelers, and local experts

Private Trips

Pro Guiding Service proudly offers the most diverse ski touring and ski mountaineering programs of any guiding service in the Northwest. Smaller, more intimate custom itineraries or instructional tours are available for any of our destinations. Tell us what you want to do, and we can create a customized plan for you.
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Pricing

$550
per person
Price based on 6 students per instructor. 425-888-6397 x2 | info@proguiding.com
View Dates & Availability
Payment Policy
If booking a domestic trip that is over 30 days away or an international trip that is over 60 days away, you can book your trip by paying a 20% deposit.  View Full Policy
Cancellation Policy
If you cancel for any reason 30 or more days before domestic trips or 60 or more days before international and Alaska trips, we will refund everything you have paid minus half of your deposit. No refunds will be provided if you cancel your trip for ANY REASON (this includes but is not limited to illness including CoVid-19, injury, or work-related issues) within 30 days of the start of domestic trips or 60 days of international and Alaska based trips.  View Full Policy

Equipment List

Clothing
Base Layer
  • Lightweight or midweight top (avoid cotton)
  • Lightweight or midweight long underwear bottoms, may omit depending on the warmth of your pants
  • Warm socks
Mid Layer
  • Fleece or wool or similar warmth layer
  • Wind shirt or soft shell jacket - wind & water resistant, breathable
Outerwear
  • Waterproof/breathable jacket with hood
  • Ski/snowboard pants - either softshell or waterproof pants are acceptable
  • Waterproof pants - necessary in warmer temps if your ski pants are not waterproof - ensure you can get them on/off over your boots (full side zips ideal)
  • Down or synthetic puffy-type jacket
  • Warm hat - should cover ears
  • Sun hat - baseball type or visor
  • Lightweight gloves
  • Ski gloves or mittens
  • A 3rd pair of gloves - recommended for temps above freezing because your gloves will get wet (lightweight or midweight)
Personal Gear
  • Day pack – large enough to fit everything inside (around 30 liters) - dedicated shovel pocket preferred
  • Water bottles - enough for a full day - wide mouth best to prevent freezing shut, hydration systems are okay if the temps are going to be above freezing
  • Lunch and snacks - enough for a full day
  • Sunglasses - adequate for snow travel
  • Goggles
  • Sunscreen - SPF 25+, waterproof
  • Lip Balm - SPF 15+
  • Face mask/covering - for when closer contact is required during training
Technical Gear

Snow Travel Gear

  • Snow travel equipment - alpine touring or telemark skis, splitboard, or snowshoe
    • Make sure you are proficient at using this gear prior to the course!
  • Boots - touring ski boots, snowboard boots, or winter hiking boots (if snowshoeing)
  • Poles - adjustable poles are ideal so you can adjust the length when going uphill/downhill
  • Climbing skins - if using skis or splitboard
  • Ski brakes or removable ski leashes

Safety Gear

  • Avalanche Beacon
  • Shovel - compact, lightweight, metal blade preferred
  • Probe - dedicated probe only (240cm or longer strongly recommended)

Snow Study Equipment (required for AIARE Level 2 ONLY)

  • Snow saw - longer saws are better for stability tests
  • Snow crystal ID card - black and metal preferred

 

Optional Items
  • Basic snow study kit - dial stem thermometer(s), crystal card, magnifying loupe, ruler
  • Notebook and writing utensil
  • Thermos - with a hot drink
  • Compass - adjustable declination a must
  • Altimeter watch
  • Maps - contact guiding office for appropriate quadrangles
  • Map case - large Ziploc bags work well
  • Camera
  • Hand sanitizer
Equipment Sales & Rental

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FAQs

What prior qualification do I need for the AIARE 2 Course?

The prerequisites for this course are an AIARE 1 course, an Avalanche Rescue course, and a winter of practical experience after taking the AIARE 1.

Should I tip my guide?

Although tipping is not a requirement, it is considered standard practice in the guiding industry and is appreciated by our guides. We generally recommend roughly 10%-15% of your course or trip cost or a flat amount that you are comfortable with.

Why Book With Us? 

Certified Professional Guides & All Access
All of our guides have the highest quality training and certification in the industry, and you can be sure that we have the permits, licenses and insurance in every location we operate.
Safe, Well-Planned Tour Design
Every tour has a carefully thought-out guide-to-customer ratio. You always get a safe, high-quality trip or learning environment with us.
Pioneers In The Industry
You will travel and learn from experts. We've pioneered several alpine climbing routes, ski descents, and traverses and we've written books on skills and routes in the industry. 
Read Our story
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