Course Description: Field Based Recreation Level 2 Course and Avalanche Rescue Course

Location | Date | Time 

Webcast Classroom Component | 2.9.21 – 2.11.21   | Webcast 6-10pm

Rattlesnake Wilderness Field Component Accessed From Montana Snowbowl | 2.12.21 – 2.13.21 – 2.14.21 | 8am-4pm


2 Nights Classroom | 3 Days field

Participant/Instructor Ratio: 4:1

Maximum Participants: 8

Price: $525.00


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. Deepen your understanding of  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 challenging 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 seasonal snowpack history and the nature of existing avalanche problems.

Overview: Avalanche Rescue

This course follows American Avalanche Association guidelines for Avalanche Rescue. This course will cover rescue fundamentals, such as survival statistics, survival strategies, and first response tactics. We will demonstrate and practice transceiver searches, airbag deployment, strategic shoveling, and team rescue response. We will discuss what to carry in the field, recommended training for backcountry travel, and emergency response strategies. This is a great opportunity to hone your avalanche rescue response skills. This course will take place 100% in the field.




  • 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 or splitboards in the backcountry terrain in winter conditions for three consecutive days.

This course focuses on the following:

  • Tracking the seasonal 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
  • Snow metamorphism
  • Avalanche terrain – large & small scale features
  • Group management in avalanche terrain
  • Stability tests – incorporating strength, structure and propagation potential
  • Making Targeted Field Observations
  • 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.


Avalanche Rescue Course Specifics:


This course focuses on the following:

  • Survival statistics
  • Survival strategies
  • Transceiver fundamentals
  • Single beacon search practice
  • Shoveling methodology
  • Strategic Probing
  • Multiple burial search techniques
  • Introduction to airbags & other tools
  • Rescue response drills

Avalanche Rescue Specific Learning Outcomes:

  • Understand and describe the importance of anticipating and knowing when you are entering into avalanche terrain.
  • Group Plan communication
  • Trailhead Checks
  • Travel Protocols
  • Understand and demonstrate: priorities & actions to take if involved in an avalanche (as a victim or responder)
  • Demonstrate effective application of search techniques by leading or participating in, companion rescue for one and two beacon burials within specified times and search areas.
  • Understand and demonstrate methods and strategies used in locating burials without beacons
  • Describe likely medical issues to anticipate once buried victims are excavated
  • Understand the need for additional medical training
  • Understand how to request EMS resources and what to expect with larger ICS responses

Recommended Reading

  • The Avalanche Handbook, Mclung
  • Staying Alive in Avalanche Terrain, Bruce Tremper

Additional Information

What is included:

  1. Professional instruction
  2. Course workbooks

What is not included:

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

Cancelation Policy:

STANDARD POLICY – : If notice of cancellation is received within 30 days of the course we will offer a full refund. If notice is received 14-30 days before the course we will offer a 50% refund of course costs. If notice of cancellation is received within 14 days of the course no refund can be given.

COVID 19 ADAPTION – Course Participants will receive a $50 paypal tuition credit if they can document that they have purchased a Allianz Travel Insurance Policy. When we priced several of these policies that cover late stage cancellations, we found that trip insurance could be purchased for close to amount of money we will refund you from your tuition payment. Different participant ages, travel itineraries, & coverage choices will affect the policy cost. If you feel sick we want you stay home, but we understand that the tuition cost can complicate that decision. Please feel free to explore this option more here 

Still have questions? Please feel free to contact us.