Avalanche Level 2 in Cooke City

4 days
All ages
1–5 people

Spend four days taking our Avalanche Level 2 course at the Woody Creek Cabin the Absaroka Range just above Cooke City, MT. Located just below the treeline, it's a great place to learn about terrain and snowpack.

The Avalanche Level 2 Course was created for advanced backcountry skiers and riders who want to dig deeper into the backcountry and take their avalanche knowledge and companion rescue skills to the next level.

This course includes an 8 Hour Avalanche Rescue Course for students planning on continuing on the AAA Pro Avalanche Education track.

Course Overview

This 4 day course will be based out of the Woody Creek Cabin in the Absaroka Range above Cooke City, MT. The cabin is a 2.5 mile skin from Cooke City, and is situated within 1/4 mile of the Wyoming border and the North Absaroka Wilderness.

During the course, participants will elevate their techniques and skills to become an advanced backcountry travelers and partners. Course work will include a combination of lectures and field sessions, where students will get hands on experience in learning about snowpack layering, terrain management, weather elements, decision making and rescue skills.

The course will be 40% classroom based and 60% field based. Given the class location we will travel in the backcountry, in and around avalanche terrain. A complete syllabus is available here.

  • Completed a Level 1 Course
  • Students must be fit enough to travel a minimum of 7 miles per day, climbing as much as 2500 vertical feet per day
  • Students must have Alpine Touring skis, Telemark skis or Splitboard with skins for travel
  • There is a minimum of one season between Level 1 and taking Level 2
Recommended reading
  • Snow Sense  Jill Fredston & Doug Fesler
  • Staying Alive in Avalanche Terrain by Bruce Tremper
  • Avalanche Essentials by Bruce Tremper
  • SWAG – Snow, Weather and Avalanches: Observational Guidelines for Avalanche Programs in the United States

All coursework is based on the guidelines of the American Avalanche Association.

Where we are
Class Location
Cooke City, Montana
Meeting Location
Woody Creek Cabin
What's included
  • Lodging, food and all course materials
  • 3% resort tax
  • Touring gear: AT, Tele or Splitboard set up with skins, no snowshoes
  • Bring a sleeping bag to the course, recommended 20 to 40 degree/summer type bag
  • Digital Avalanche Beacon (less than 10 years old)
  • Shovel and Probe (rentals available upon request prior to course date)
  • Snow saw
  • Crystal Card, Loop (magnifying glass)
Why book through 57hours?

We’re an adventure loving, rock climbing, tech company that loves all things outdoors-y. Why spend days looking for the right guide and adrenaline rush, when we can (and already did) do it for you? Want a serious guide for a challenging backcountry tour? We know a bunch. How about a guide to show you around the Alps? Check. Maybe your kids want to ski and won’t stop going on about it until you book them a trip. Yes, we know guides who are great for beginners, too. Oh, yeah, every guide we know prioritizes SAFETY and FUN. Book with 57hours, we’ve done your work for you. You’re welcome.

Guides running this program

Ben Zavora

Owner of Beartooth Powder, Ben Zavora has been leading his friends, family and clients around the mountains for the last 20 years. He turned his passion into a profession by founding Beartooth Powder Guides in 2012. He has volunteered and been a board member for the Friends of the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center for the last 13 years, which includes assisting in field sessions on avalanche awareness courses for snowmobilers. Ben has completed a Level 3 Avalanche course and spends time every year in pursuing Avalanche Education events to stay current with the most recent Avalanche research.

Ben has completed his AMGA Aspirant Exam and is looking forward to completing his AMGA Ski Exam in the near future. Ben has skied extensively in Southwest Montana, the Sawtooths, the Eastern Sierras and in Europe, New Zealand and South America. Ben is eager to share his enthusiasm for the mountains around Cooke City with you, contact him to discuss your Cooke City POWDER experience! Ben is available at info@beartoothpowder.com.

Nina Hance

Nina was born and raised in Bozeman, Montana, and is an AMGA certified ski guide. She grew up chasing her parents around the mountains of Montana and Alaska. She spent the first three years of her career guiding for a heli and snowcat-skiing operation in Alaska. She has also worked as an intern for the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center for two seasons. In summers, Nina teaches horseback riding and enjoys rock climbing and mountain biking.

Alan Oram

Alan is a Bozeman, Montana, local and is an IFMGA/AMGA certified Mountain Guide AND a Physician board certified in Emergency Medicine. He has skied and climbed extensively throughout the Western US, Canada, Alaska and Europe. The Beartooth Range and Cooke City are his local place and one of those areas that though little known, have some of the best skiing in the world. Read more on Alan’s website.