Top three reasons to upgrade your skills in Aspen
The fabled slopes of Aspen are synonymous with winter sports
Advance your knowledge with the help of a certified instructor
Equip yourself with the tools to safely traverse the backcountry
Aspen is the queen of winter sports and the backcountry—the promised land of snow-seekers! It’s a match made in heaven. When it comes to learning about environmental hazards and the dangers of avalanches, there’s no better classroom than this. This advanced AIARE Level 2 course is designed for those interested in expanding their avalanche knowledge and understanding of snow stability under the guidance of a professional. Learn more about avalanche awareness and risk management from AMGA Mountain Guide Rob Coppolillo.
January through March
Book this adventure
AIARE Level 2 Avalanche Course
Further your avalanche training in this AIARE Level 2 course under the watchful eye of an experienced, AIARE-certified instructor right in the field. These advanced skills will ensure that your trips to the backcountry remain pleasant and any emergencies stay under your control.
During three days of dual indoor-outdoor study, learn how to prepare for your trips and make the right decisions in emergency situations, how to recognize snowpack formation and metamorphism, read observation guidelines, and understand factors that influence snowpack stability. Your guide will also teach you all about avalanche formation and release, as well as how to utilize forecasting processes.
Meet your guide
IFMGA/AMGA Certified Guides
Things to know
Covid measures in Aspen, CO
57hours is committed to providing safe outdoor adventure experiences. We require all guides using our platform to have a COVID-19 safety plan and to make the details of that plan accessible to travelers. In most cases, group sizes will be reduced, guides will avoid overcrowded locations, and other safety measures will be met depending on the location and activity.
We also expect clients to respect local regulations and take measures to protect themselves, guides and the communities they’re travelling to. For more information on COVID-19 measures in Aspen, please refer to the Colorado State and City of Aspen websites.
Please contact us if you have any questions or require further information. We are happy to provide you with the most up-to-date information!
What you get in this adventure:
- An experienced AIARE-certified instructor
- Three full days of classroom and field study
- Use of avalanche beacon, shovel, probe and ski pack
- AIARE dues, AIARE manual and field book
- 3% USFS land use surcharge
What’s not included:
- Technical backcountry ski touring equipment
- Trip insurance
- Transport to and from Aspen and the meeting point
- Single-ride lift tickets
- Meals and snacks
How fit do I need to be?
In order to enjoy this avalanche course, you need to have an excellent level of fitness. Skiers must be able to hike for many hours at a time while carrying a small pack. You don’t need to be an advanced skier or boarder, but you do need to be able to ascend moderate slopes using skins. All participants should be comfortable traveling in snow while carrying touring gear.
AIARE Avalanche Rescue is a prerequisite for the AIARE 2 course. An AIARE Level 1 Course or equivalent training/experience is required. Practical experience after the Level 1 course is recommended.
What equipment do I need to bring?
For technical backcountry ski touring gear, you will need to bring:
- Alpine touring skis, telemark skis or splitboard with skins (can be rented)
- Touring boots and poles (can be rented)
- Avalanche safety equipment (included in the course cost):
- Digital, 3-antenna avalanche transceiver or beacon
- Lightweight snow shovel
- Avalanche probe
For personal items, we recommend bringing:
- Sunglasses or ski goggles
- Gloves and hat
- Wind and waterproof shell jacket with hood (Gore-Tex recommended)
- Ski pants (Gore-Tex recommended)
- Down jacket or vest
- Synthetic or wool base layers, underwear and socks
- One triple-action locking carabiner or two conventional locking carabiners
- Repair kit and Leatherman for your equipment (can be shared between several people)
- Water bottle and 1L of water
- Thermos with a warm beverage — optional
- Food you can eat on-the-go
- First-aid kit
- Daypack large enough to carry all items listed (around a 30-40L backpack)
- Camera — optional
Can I rent equipment?
Your guide will provide you with a daypack with a probe, shovel and avalanche beacon if you don’t have your own avy gear. If you need alpine touring ski equipment (AT skis, skins, boots) we can set you up at the guide’s shop in Aspen Highlands the night before your course.
If you need gear, let us know and we can help make the arrangements.
Group sizes and age requirements
- This course is not private. For the group course, the usual guest-to-guide ratio is 4:1.
- Cost is per person and it doesn’t decrease as the group grows.
AIARE Level 2 courses in Aspen can be arranged for larger groups. Contact us to make arrangements.
Min. age requirements:
- You must be at least 18 years old to participate.
Getting there and meeting location
To get to Aspen, most people fly into Denver International Airport or Aspen/Pitkin County Airport. From Denver, you can rent a car or take a shuttle service for a 3.5-hour drive. Flying into Pitkin County Airport is a bit more expensive, but far more convenient as it is in the Aspen area. Other possible options include Eagle County Airport and Grand Junction Regional Airport.
Prior to departure, each group will meet at the Aspen Expeditions office located in Aspen Highlands Village. Field sessions will take place in the Aspen backcountry. Location may change depending on snow conditions.