1 – 4 people
Improve avalanche awareness with AIARE Level 2 in Jackson Hole
This course is operated by The Mountain Guides
Take the next step in avalanche education. The AIARE 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 Mountain Guides AIARE 2 is a three-day 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 course outline
The Mountain Guide: 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
The Mountain Guide 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
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.
In The Mountain Guide Classroom: Debrief; Instability Factors Analysis, Review Field Obs and Human Factors; When we’re 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 to rent
Things you need to know
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
- Top Long Sleeve Synthetic: medium to expedition weight long underwear Guide Pick: Mountain Hardwear Butterman 1/2 zip
- Soft Shell or Fleece Jacket Guide Pick: Mountain Hardwear Aosta Jacket
- Shell Jacket with hood. Guide Pick: Mountain Hardwear Cloudseeker Jacket
- Puffy Jacket: Hood Recommended. Guide Pick: Mountain Hardwear Dynotherm Jacket
- 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
HEAD AND HANDS
- 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
- Backpack: 30 to 40 Liter ski pack, Guide Pick: Mammut Pro Short Removable Airbag System Backpack
- Water & Food: Thermos or insulated water bottles are best. Lot’s of snacks.
- Sunglasses/ Sunglass Case
- Ski Goggles
- Extra Prescription Glasses/Contact Lens