AIARE Level 2

Who should take this course: AIARE 2 is a three-day course for those who have taken an AIARE 1 and Avalanche Rescue and have had at least a year of backcountry travel experience. The AIARE 2 course provides backcountry leaders the opportunity to advance their avalanche knowledge and decision making skills.

Course Description: AIARE 2 is a three-day/24-hour course that provides backcountry travelers an opportunity to advance their decision making skills in more complicated situations such as being a leader within a small travel group, traveling in more complicated terrain, and/or developing a travel plan where online resources are scarce.

The AIARE 2 course builds on the introductory avalanche hazard management model introduced in AIARE 1, adding the evaluation of critical hazard assessment factors to the model. Students will describe and discuss weather, snowpack, and avalanche processes, and identify how these processes relate to observations and travel within avalanche terrain.

At the end of the AIARE 2 course the student should be able to:

  • Differentiate where specific avalanche hazards exist within the landscape and identify avalanche terrain where consequences may be more severe
  • Use and interpret weather, snow, and avalanche observations to locate appropriate terrain prior to entering and while in the field
  • Demonstrate leadership skills within a small team that include facilitating small group discussion, promoting appropriate terrain selection, and utilizing simple risk management strategies
  • Implement a basic forecasting framework that can be used in conjunction with and in the absence of local supporting avalanche information

Skis or splitboards and proficiency skiing or snowboarding is required.  Snowshoes are not appropriate for this course.

Visit AIARE’s website here.

Our COVID-19 Response to Avalanche Education for 2020/2021.

As we prepare for winter, managing the realities of the continuing global pandemic and the expectation of heavy backcountry use will inform our philosophy of scheduling and conducting AIARE avalanche education courses.  In order to maintain social distancing and not overwhelm the backcountry with multiple users and their vehicles, we will be running all of our classes at a 6:1 instructor to student ratio primarily during weekdays or on Sundays and Mondays. The classroom portion of AIARE II courses will be held virtually in the form of self-guided learning modules and Zoom-based group discussions.  Gear checks may also be conducted virtually as well.  These structural changes will in no way diminish the quality of education as field days will remain the core of the curriculum.  It is our hope that by offering avalanche eduction courses in a different format and at different (off peak) times will better accommodate those of you seeking to learn and expand your ability to travel safely in avalanche terrain.  Please note that any of our AIARE courses can be scheduled as a private course to suit your schedule and training objectives.  Thank you in advance for considering us for your avalanche education.  All of us who enjoy backcountry skiing and splitboarding have an extra obligation this winter to teach and demonstrate the ethics, etiquette, and skill necessary to keep everyone safe in the mountains while preserving the environment that brings us so much joy and challenge.

Monarch Pass, Colorado Springs, $545 

Included:  AIARE Field Book, Student Resources, use of Ortovox transceiver, probe, and shovel.

Not Included: Transportation, accommodations, food, and guide gratuity.

Required gear: Alpine Touring Ski/Splitboard setup. Full winter backcountry gear. See our gear list on this page.

Prerequisites: Completion of AIARE 1 and Avalanche Rescue. Students must be proficient skiers or split-boarders for travel. Skiing/snowboarding black runs at the resort is a must.

Due to the high interest in this course, full payment is required at time of registration. AIARE courses are refundable 30 days from course start less a 10% administrative fee.

2021 course dates: 

  • Winter 2021/2022 dates TBD (Coming in October)


  • Zoom and self paced classroom
  • Monarch Pass field days
  • We recommend lodging in Salida or at Monarch Lodge on Highway 50.

Want more education?

  • Recreational backcountry travelers will need to take the AIARE 1 and Avalanche Rescue as a prerequisite for the AIARE 2 Rec course.
  • Aspiring professionals will need to take the AIARE 1 Rec and Avalanche Rescue as a prerequisite for the Pro 1 course. For those without the mentorship of a ski patrol or working at a guide service or similar, we recommend students take AIARE 2 Rec prior to Pro 1.
  • AIARE 1 and Avalanche Rescue have no prerequisites and either can be taken first or without the other.

Pikes Peak Alpine School operates under special use permits from the USDA Forest Service, Pike National Forest and is an equal opportunity service provider & employer

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