AIARE 2: Analyzing Snow Stability and Avalanche Hazard

The AIARE 2 course is a 4-day program that provides backcountry leaders the opportunity to advance their avalanche knowledge and decision making skills. This course also includes the introductory and prerequisite components for the professional progression: the AIARE 3 certificate.

The AIARE 2 builds from the introductory avalanche hazard management model introduced in the level one and adds to it the evaluation of factors critical to stability evaluation.

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IMPORTANT BETA

LODGING INCLUDED*

3 nights at The Bunkhouse at Northeast Mountaineering

*As space permits

COURSE DETAILS

Length: 4 Days [40 Hours]
Guide-to-Client: 1:7
Price: $475 per person

2016-2017 DATES

February 17-20 [Sold Out]
March 10-13

RENTAL GEAR

For this course, you will need an Avalanche Beacon, Probe and Shovel. These items may be rented for $66.00.

Most of the required equipment is available for rent from our affiliate mtnGEAR. AIARE Participants will receive an exclusive discount of 50% beacon, probe and shovel and an additional 20% discount on all rental equipment and clothing.

AIARE 2 COURSE OBJECTIVES

Learning Outcomes

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

  • Advance understanding of avalanche terrain, particularly from the perspective of stability analysis.
  • Discuss how the snowpack develops and metamorphoses over time; and discuss the factors that contribute to spatial variability.
  • Learn standard observation guidelines and recording formats for factors that influence or indicate snow stability.
  • Advance understanding of avalanche release and triggering mechanisms.
  • Introduce a snow stability analysis and forecasting framework.
  • Improve companion rescue skills including multiple and deep burials.

Instructional sessions (40 hours including both class and field instruction).

  1. AIARE 1 Review
  2. Energy balance, the mountain snowpack and metamorphism
  3. Faceting; near surface and near crust faceting
  4. Formation of surface hoar and persistent weak layers
  5. Skier Triggering: theory and observations
  6. International and national snow, weather and avalanche observation and recording guidelines (SWAG)
    • Weather; interpreting forecasts, recording and observation techniques
    • Snow profile techniques and bonding tests
    • Avalanche observations and recording techniques
  7. Stability analysis checklist: reviewing critical factors
    • Stability ratings
    • Daily stability forecasts and analysis
  8. Trip Planning and hazard forecasting for avalanche terrain
    • The avalanche danger ratings
    • Terrain analysis using maps/photos
    • Forecasting stability and variability
    • Terrain selection and route finding
  9. Group management and hazard management
    • Decision making
    • Human factors
  10. Information gathering
    • Site selection and relevancy
    • Spatial variability
    • Slope tests
  11. Companion Rescue
    • AIARE 1 techniques review
    • Multiple burial
    • Shovel techniques

 

Course Itinerary

ALPINE TOURING OR SPLIT BOARDING

For this course we will be accessing the backcountry. If you own a touring setup or split board you are welcome to skin with the instructor and consequently ski or ride out at the end of the day. Please bring your own AT or Split Board setups as we do not have these available for rent. For this course, snowshoes will not suffice as it will severely limit our ski tours on day 3 and 4.

DAY 1

9:00-9:30: Introductions, Ice Breaker, Agenda/Logistics


9:30-11:00: Small group exercise: Case Study: Loveland Pass (think/pair/share)


11:00-12:00: Review of Pre-Course Exercise (peer clarifications)


12:00-12:45: Lunch


12:45-1:15: Companion Rescue Upgrade (inside)


1:15-3:00: Companion Rescue Upgrade (outside) Multiple Burials, Deep Burials, Close Proximity Burials (micro strip), Leadership


3:00-4:00: Mountain Weather


4:00-5:00: Avalanche Release


5:00-5:30: Day 1 Debrief and prep for Day 2, homework assignments (AHB p. 21-34), Read Bulletin


 

DAY 2

8:30-9:00: The Mountain Snowpack; Formation of New Snow


9:00-9:45: Making Observations Relevant


9:45-10:15: Snowpack Structure and the Environment


10:15-10:45: Snow Metamorphism


10:45-11:45: Facets/NSF’s/NCfs/Surface Hoar


11:45-1:00: Lunch/Travel to Field Location


1:00 - 4:00: Full Profile Demo/Practice/Recording


4:00 - 4:30: Return to Classroom


4:30 - 5:30: Avalanche Hazard and Risk Assessment (group exercise)


5:30-6:30: Day 2 debrief and prep for Day 3, homework assignments; SWAG reading assignments, read bulletin


 

DAY 3

8:30-9:30: Trip Planning Session (location TBD)


9:30-10:00: Travel to field location


10:00-4:00: Ski Tour Observational Outing, targeted sites for Test Profiles (CT, ECT, PST, RB)


4:00-4:30: Return to Classroom (location TBD)


4:30-5:30: Avalanche Hazard and Risk Assessment (group exercise)


5:30- 6:30: Day 3 debrief and prep for Day 4, homework assignments


 

DAY 4

8:30-9:30: Trip Planning Session (location TBD)


9:30-4:30: Student Led Ski Tour (location TBD; GoS, Tucks, Cog to Summit, Ammo, Burt, East Snowfields)


4:30-5:30: Course Debrief & Close


 

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DOMESTIC ADVENTURES

Payment in full is due at the time of booking. Cancellations outside of 7 days are fully refundable except for a $50 service fee. There will be no refunds for cancellations made less than 7 days before your program. Unfortunately, due to the time-sensitive nature of our business, and the difficulty in re-booking a trip close to departure, we cannot make exceptions to this policy. Payments may be made via MasterCard, Visa, American Express, or check.

BEYOND NEW ENGLAND INCLUDING MOUNT RAINIER

A non-refundable deposit of $750 per person secures your reservation but may vary - please check the individual pages. Payments may be made via MasterCard, Visa, American Express, or check. Final payment is due 1 month [30 days] before departure - but may vary. For your convenience, we can work out a monthly payment plan.

INTERNATIONAL ADVENTURES

A non-refundable deposit of $500 per person secures your reservation but may vary - please check the individual pages. Payments may be made via MasterCard, Visa, American Express, or check. Final payment is due 1 month [30 days] before departure - but may vary. For your convenience, we can work out a monthly payment plan.

CANCELLATION

There will be no refunds for cancellations made less than 7 days before your program. Unfortunately, due to the time-sensitive nature of our business, and the difficulty in re-booking a trip close to departure, we cannot make exceptions to this policy.

CHANGE OF DATE

Date changes are subject to availability and apply only to the current climbing season. Date changes may be requested at anytime up to 7 days prior to your departure date for a $25 fee per person. Date changes may be requested at anytime up to 3 days prior to your departure date for a $50 fee per person. There are no date changes allowed less than 2 days before departure.

GENERAL POLICIES

NEMs Adventure plans and itineraries are subject to change or adjustment based on a number of factors. These include, but are not limited to, route conditions, weather, terrain, and many other factors. NEM has complete discretion to change plans to accommodate any of these or other factors, including discretion to change program schedule or itinerary, and change guides or staff, as necessary for the proper and safe conduct of the program.

We reserve the right to cancel any program due to inadequate signups, weather or route conditions. In such a case, an NEM credit for the full value is given; however, NEM cannot be responsible for any additional expenses incurred in preparing for the program (i.e., airline tickets, equipment purchase or rental, hotel reservations).

NEM reserves the right to dismiss the Participant from a trip at any time if NEM determines, in its sole discretion, that the Participant is not physically, technically, or psychologically prepared for or capable of participating in the program. This includes being under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.

SUMMIT ATTEMPT

Northeast Mountaineering cannot guarantee that you will reach the summit. Weather, route conditions, your own abilities or the abilities of others may create circumstances that make an ascent unsafe, and you or your entire party will have to turn around without reaching the summit. Your program fee entitles you to one summit attempt on your specified dates.

MINIMUM REGISTRATION REQUIREMENTS

For our adventures to run as booked, we must have 50% enrollment of the maximum participant allotment. As an example, if the program has a maximum of 8 people then we must have 4 registered participants for the adventure. In the case of low registration, you may be asked to postpone or join another group on a different date. Exceptions may be made but it is at complete discretion of Northeast Mountaineering, its guides and agents.

RISK MANAGEMENT

Safety is NEM’s number one priority. Our guides manage significant hazards inherent in the mountains such as avalanches, ice fall, rock fall, inclement weather, and high winds, but they cannot eliminate them. NEM guides draw from their wealth of experience and training to make sound decisions that maximize your experience without compromising the necessary margin of safety. Please clearly understand that mountaineering and all other mountain adventures are inherently hazardous sports. You are choosing to engage in an activity in which participants have been injured and killed. While those accidents are indeed infrequent, they may occur at any time and be out of our control. We ask that participants acknowledge the risk and hazards of these sports, and make their own choices about whether or not to engage in these activities.