Course Description

Date | Location: 

1.24.20 – 1.26.20 Field & Classroom Component | Yurtski


Yurt Based Level 2 Course | Three days & two nights in the field.

Participant/Instructor Ratio: 6:1

Maximum Participants: 12

Price: $650.00


Overview: Avalanche Level 2

Are you a dedicated winter recreationalist who yearns to explore more challenging and complex avalanche terrain? If you’ve taken the Level 1 and are continuing to venture into the winter backcountry, then the Level 2 course is for you. Build upon the foundation you developed during your prior training. Gain a deeper understanding of the nuances and intricacies of avalanches. Further hone your hazard assessment and decision-making skills. Begin to understand how to choose terrain to match the current avalanche conditions.

This level 2 course is designed for advancing winter backcountry recreationalists with prior avalanche training and experience. The curriculum is built for backcountry recreationists with avalanche level 1 avalanche skills who want to go deeper with their snow and avalanche knowledge, as well as travel in more complex terrain. On this course, instructors will spend time expanding student’s knowledge of the science of snow metamorphism and apply this knowledge to have a better understanding of the season snowpack history and the nature of existing avalanche problems.




  • Level 1 avalanche course
  • Minimum of one season between the level 1 & level 2 used to apply the tools and strategies learned on a level 1.
  • Participants must be prepared to travel during daylight hours on touring skis, splitboard, snowshoes, or snowmobile in backcountry terrain in winter conditions for three consecutive days.

This course focuses on the following:

  • Tracking the season snowpack history
  • Characteristics of the different avalanche problems
  • Weather history, avalanche problems, and stability assessment
  • Formation of persistent weak layers – facets, depth hoar, surface hoar
  • Wet snow metamorphism
  • Avalanche terrain – large & small scale features
  • Group management in challenging/complex terrain
  • Stability tests – incorporating strength, structure and propagation potential
  • Introduction to SWAG documentation
  • Tour planning
  • Use of backcountry protocols and checklists for sorting and prioritizing information
  • Identifying human factor traps and solutions

Level 2 Specific Learning Outcomes:

  • Link season weather history and relevant snowpack processes to current snowpack structure and layering.
  • Utilizing local avalanche forecasts as well as other resources available – remote weather stations, reports, and forecasts.
  • Create an avalanche hazard assessment without a local advisory.
  • Prioritize relevancy of observations and snowpack tests based on avalanche hazard and problem(s) and apply at a local scale. Key record keeping.
  • Gain deeper understanding of avalanche formation, triggering, and release mechanisms, including links to Avalanche Problems.
  • Recognize and manage risk: human factors, motivations, objectives, and limitations through planning and communication.
  • Apply tools for planning, decision-making, and travel with consideration of group risk management and awareness of safe margins.
  • Practice travel protocols and techniques to mitigate risk exposure in a variety of avalanche terrain situations and challenges.

Recommended Reading

  • Snow Sense, Jill Fredston & Doug Fesler
  • Staying Alive in Avalanche Terrain, Bruce Tremper
  • Avalanche Essentials, Bruce Tremper

Additional Information

What is included:

  1. Two nights Yurtski lodging
  2. Meals provided when at the Yurt (breakfast, lunch, and dinner).
  3. Gear haul: Carry only a daypack on your back on your way in!
  4. Professional instruction
  5. Course workbooks
  6. Classroom and field instruction

What is not included:

  1. Transportation to and from the trailhead or ski area
  2. Personal gear
  3. Avalanche rescue gear

Still have questions? Please feel free to contact us.