Recreational Level 2 Avalanche Course

For Advanced Backcountry Riders Seeking Remote Alaska

Can I ski the slope or not? The crux of riding in avalanche terrain is making good decisions. 

This 33-hour course is designed for the advanced skier/rider who wants to improve their game in avalanche terrain. We give you the skills to prepare at home wether you're going to the roadside slopes or flying into a remote zone. Then, when you get into the backcountry, how to gather more information and work with your partners to make the best decisions. This course is light on snow science and heavy on the practical application of learning skills to move through avalanche terrain. 

We Will Cover

  • Trip planning

  • Applying the advisory

  • Advanced avalanche rescue techniques and exam

  • Terrain analysis

  • Travel techniques for complex terrain

  • Snow instability evaluation

  • Backcountry psychology

  • Decision making

  • Route selection

  • 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.

  • Fitness for three consecutive days in the mountains, skinning up about 2-4,000 vertical feet each day.

  • At least a year (15+ backcountry days) of practicing the skills from your Level 1 Course.

  • Proficiency with your field gear. This is not a backcountry ski course.

  • Wilderness First Responder course recommended.

Pre-Course Homework

  • 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.

  • Dig five pits that target the weak layer with an extended column test and compression test.

  • Ability to consistently find and excavate one victim with a beacon, buried one meter deep, in five minutes.

  • Attempt to find and excavate two victims with beacons, buried one meter deep, in seven minutes.


  • January 16-21, 2019 (Lead Instructor: Joe Stock, Instructor: Nick D'Alessio, Assistant: Elliot Gaddy)

Cost: $600 per person


  • Jan 16, Weds, 6-9pm, Alaska Rock Gym, classroom session

  • Jan 17, Thurs, 6-9pm, Alaska Rock Gym, classroom session

  • Jan 19, Sat, 8am-5pm, morning meeting and Turnagain Pass field session

  • Jan 20, Sun, 8am-5pm, morning meeting and Turnagain Pass field session

  • Jan 21, Mon, 8am-5pm, morning meeting and Turnagain Pass field session


  • 33 hours of professional instruction. 9 hours of indoor lecture. 24 hours of field instruction.

  • 5:1 max student to instructor ratio

  • Class handouts

  • Backcountry checklist field card

  • Avalanche rescue field card

  • Certificate of completion

Does Not Include

To Book

Photos of Course Topics in Action