Recreational Level 2 Avalanche Course
For Advanced Backcountry Riders Seeking Remote Alaska
Can I ski the slope or not? The challenge of riding in avalanche terrain is making good decisions. This 33-hour course is designed for the advanced skier/rider with backcountry experience who wants to improve their game in avalanche terrain. You will build upon the foundation you developed during your Level 1 and Avalanche Rescue courses. You will gain a deeper understanding of avalanches, further hone your hazard assessment and decision-making skills and begin to understand how to choose terrain to match the current avalanche conditions. We also give you the skills to prepare at home whether you are heading to roadside slopes or flying into a remote zone. This course is light on snow science and heavy on the practical application of learning skills to move through avalanche terrain.
We Will Cover
Applying the advisory
Advanced avalanche rescue techniques and exam
Travel techniques for complex terrain
Snow instability evaluation
Making good decisions
Travel procedures for complex terrain
Avalanche forecasting for remote Alaska
Advanced downhill ability. You must be able to ski or splitboard black diamond resort runs without falling.
Proficiency with your field gear. This is not a backcountry ski course.
Fitness for three consecutive days in the mountains, skinning up about 2-3,000 vertical feet each day.
Level 1 Avalanche Training from an American Avalanche Association approved provider.
8-hour Avalanche Rescue course from an American Avalanche Association approved provider. Required.
At least a year (15+ backcountry days) of practicing the skills from your Level 1 Avalanche Training.
Wilderness First Aid course recommended.
Complete a pre-course quiz.
Watch Rescue at Cherry Bowl.
Review the Backcountry Access rescue videos
Read Staying Alive in Avalanche Terrain by Bruce Tremper, 3rd edition.
Try to conduct five extended column tests that target the weak layer of concern.
Ability to consistently find and excavate one victim with a beacon, buried one meter deep, in less than five minutes.
Attempt to find and excavate two victims with beacons, buried one meter deep, in seven minutes.
For navigation, load the Theodolite app and Gaia GPS app onto your phone.
For trip planning, load Google Earth Pro onto your laptop. Then add the Earth Point topo layer to Google Earth by clicking the View on Google Earth button, then dragging Earth Point Topo Map from Temporary Places to My Places in Google Earth.
Tentative 2019/20 Date
January 15-20, 2020 (Lead Instructor: Joe Stock, Instructor: Nick D'Alessio, Assistant: Elliot Gaddy)
Jan 15, Weds, 6-9pm, classroom session at Alaska Rock Gym.
Jan 16, Thurs, 6-9pm, classroom session at Alaska Rock Gym.
Jan 18, Sat, 8am-5pm, morning meeting and Turnagain Pass field session.
Jan 19, Sun, 8am-5pm, morning meeting and field session, plan A: Turnagain Pass, plan B: Hatcher Pass or other Anchorage area.
Jan 20, Mon, 8am-5pm, morning meeting and field session, plan A: Turnagain Pass, plan B: Hatcher Pass or other Anchorage area.
Cost: $600 per person
33 hours of professional instruction. 9 hours of indoor lecture. 24 hours of field instruction.
5:1 max student to instructor ratio
Backcountry checklist field card
Avalanche rescue field card
Certificate of completion
Does Not Include
Transportation to and from the trailhead.
Lodging, food and drink.
Staying Alive in Avalanche Terrain by Bruce Tremper.
Rescue and trip insurance (recommended). See Reservation, Cancellation and Insurance Policy for details.