AIARE Level 2 Avalanche Course

Become a confident backcountry leader. We take the foundation students have created in their Avalanche 1 course and go much more in-depth with snowpack assessment, terrain evaluation, decision making, and tour planning. Our Level 2 Avalanche Course focuses on personalized instruction and getting lots of mileage skiing in the backcountry with AIARE instructors and AMGA trained ski guides.

$570 per person

  • snow crystal card aiare level 2 avalanche course


Peak’s AIARE Avalanche course curriculums were ranked “One of the Top Avalanche Courses in America for Adventure Seekers” by Curbed Ski Magazine. Our curriculum prioritizes hands-on learning and practice for those who learn best by doing. Our avalanche staff has been hand picked for their depth of experience as professionals in the snow and avalanche industry, and for their welcoming, approachable demeanor. They include AIARE Instructor Trainer Team members, AMGA certified ski guides, avalanche forecasters, ski patrollers, and AIARE qualified instructors.


Day 1:
Morning Classroom Session – Peak Office in Ouray, CO
Introductions and Logistics
Course Goals and Objectives
Review Pre-course Exercise
Mountain Weather Formation & Classification of New Snow
Snowpack Structure & Interaction with the Environment
An In-Depth Look at Metamorphism

Afternoon Field Session – Snowpack Observations & Snow Profile
Field Weather Observation Demo Snow Profile Demo

Day 2:
Morning Classroom Session – Peak Office in Ouray, CO
Warm Up: Pop quiz on snow profiles
Near Surface/Near Crust Faceting & Surface Hoar
Weak Layer Characteristics Review of the Seasonal Snow History of the San Juans
AM Weather Update & Trip Plan

Afternoon Field Session – Red Mountain Pass
Ski tour while gathering observations that are pertinent to the current avalanche problem Observing and recording site-specific snowpacks with test profiles Large Column Tests such as ECT & PST (if not completed previously)

Evening Classroom Session – Peak Office in Ouray, CO
Debrief Field Session / Discuss Findings Using the PM Avalanche Hazard & Risk Assessment Form

Day 3:
Morning Classroom Session – Peak Office in Ouray, CO 8:00 – 10:00
Warm Up: Daily ski pack contents Video on Fracture Character / Comparison to shear quality scale
Characteristics of Avalanche Release
Making Observations Relevant AM Weather Update & Trip Plan

Afternoon Field Session – Red Mountain Pass
10:00-11:00 Ski tour led by course participants
11:00 – 4:30 Terrain Selection, Group Management, & Terrain Management

Evening Classroom Session – Peak Office in Ouray, CO 4:30 – 5:30
Tour Debrief PM Avalanche Hazard & Risk Assessment
Self-Evaluation and Course Evaluation

Program Dates

February 25-28, 2022


Group Size

The maximum ratio is 5:1. The group size will not exceed 10 students and 2 instructors.

Time and Place

This trip meets at our office at 160 Liddell St in Ridgway.

Equipment List

All avalanche rescue equipment is included in your course. (Beacon, Shovel, Probe)
View Equipment List as a PDF

Rental Gear

Touring skis and boots are available for rent: Rental Gear

Contact Us

The Peak Guide House
311 Main Street | Ouray CO 81427

Peak Mountain Guides, LLC
160 Liddell St. #C3 | Ridgway CO 81432
PO Box 2051 | Ridgway CO 81432

Authorized Permittee

Peak Mountain Guides is an authorized permittee of the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre, Gunnison National Forest; San Juan National Forest; Bureau of Land Management Monticello, Moab, Gunnison, and Glennallen Field Offices; Eldorado Canyon State Park; Ouray Ice Park, City of Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks; and National Parks including Mt. Rainier, Black Canyon of the Gunnison, and Colorado National Monument. Peak Mountain Guides is an equal opportunity service provider.