AIARE Avalanche Level 2 in Jackson Hole

3 days
18+ years
1–4 people

This course is booked through and operated by Jackson Hole Mountain Guides.

Take the next step in avalanche education. Our Level 2 course offers an amazing chance to fine tune all rough terrain best practices against a stunning backdrop: the Tetons in Jackson, Wyoming.

Learn to analyze snow stability and avalanche hazards

The Jackson Hole Mountain Guides AIARE 2 is a three-day/24 hour course designed for skiers, riders and winter alpinists who travel regularly in avalanche terrain. This course will help experienced backcountry users gain the skills necessary to make decisions in complicated situations like leading a small travel group, traveling in challenging or complex avalanche terrain, or developing a travel plan without adequate resources.

This course is best for amateurs or professionals looking to gain experience before taking a Pro 1 course.

Here’s a sample outline for what you’ll learn

DAY 1:

  • JHMG Classroom: Welcome and Introductions, Level 1 Review, Mountain Weather/ Formation of New Snow, Layered Snowpack, Trip Planning using local avalanche Bulletin, Beacon Function and Range Check and Snowprofile Demo, PM Meeting Demo.

DAY 2:

JHMG Classroom Interpreting Weather Data, Snow Surface conditions, and Snow Profiles, Risk Management for small groups, Avalanche Release, Snowpits

In the Field: with Departure Check, Snow Profiles and Tests

DAY 3:

  • In the Field: Ski Tour, Beacon Range Check, Group Management, Communication, and Human Factors; Terrain Selection, Travel Techniques, Gathering Field Obs, Analyzing Snow Instability and Avalanche Hazard.
  • JHMG Classroom: Debrief; Instability Factors Analysis, Review Field Obs and Human Factors; When were me most at risk; Course Close, Next Steps.

The American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education (AIARE) is the  standard that  informs your curriculum. All of our guides are certified and will use their extensive experience when guiding each participant.

Prerequisites for avalanche education:

All participants must have completed an AIARE 1 and an Avalanche Rescue course.

  • Significant personal winter backcountry experience is a must
  • We also expect our Level II students have experience in ski or split board touring
  • Take some time to familiarize yourself with all of your gear
  • Make sure it’s all in good working order prior to the class
  • You must have appropriate alpine touring (AT), telemark or split-board equipment
  • Other gear (pack, transceiver, probe, shovel) is available for rent from JHMG
Where we are
A word on travel and preparation
  • Grand Teton National Park is located roughly 30 minutes from the Jackson Hole Mountain Guides’ office in Jackson, WY. The office is located at 1325 S. Highway 89, Suite 104, and shares a parking area with Smith’s. Most trips and classes will meet at this office for gear checks, preparation, and classes.
  • It is helpful to arrive a couple of days prior to your trip/class in order to acclimatize. Otherwise, arrive the day before and stop by the office for an equipment check. Do not plan on traveling the day after a significant climb – you will be tired and there are no guaranteed times when you'll return to the trailhead.
  • Plan on having accommodations for the night prior to and the night you return from a significant climb. There are ample hotels, motels, and bed and breakfasts in Jackson and the surrounding area. It is highly advisable to make reservations as early as possible.
  • The Jackson Hole airport is the closest, but Idaho Falls (2 – 2.5 hour drive) and Salt Lake City (4 – 5 hour drive) are worth considering as well.



  • Bottom Synthetic or Wool Long Underwear Bottoms Guide Pick: Mountain Hardwear Butterman Tight
  • Shell Pant: full side zips and built-in gaiters Guide Pick: Mountain Hardwear Highball Pant
  • Socks: Synthetic or wool. Sized for your boots and blister protection. Liners recommended.


  • Gloves  3 pair: 1 light, 1 medium, 1 heavy pair  Guide Pick: Mountain Hardwear Cyclone Alpine Glove
  • Hat: medium weight ski hat
  • Hat: baseball or visor for sun
  • Buff/neck gaiter


Guides running this program

Paul Rachele

Paul is a midwest transplant who drifted to the mountains after college and never really left. Climbing has taken Paul from the deserts of southeast California to the glaciers of central Alaska and everywhere in between. Some of Paul’s most memorable climbing experiences are the Cassin Ridge on Denali and a solo, nighttime ascent of the Hossack-McGowan on the Grand Teton. In the winter, Paul enjoys skiing and ice climbing throughout the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. His most memorable descent was skiing the Grand Teton in boot-top powder, and his favorite run is the Do-Its on Teton Pass. In addition to guiding year-round for Jackson Hole Mountain Guides, Paul is our Avalanche Program Coordinator and Colorado Branch Manager. He is an AMGA/IFMGA Mountain Guide and has completed a Level III Avalanche Course through the American Avalanche Institute.


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