An advanced certification course for professional avalanche workers.

While hosted by Sawtooth Mountain Guides, this course will be run and booked by the American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education (AIARE) and more information on the course can be found here.

The 6 day AIARE Pro 2 Course is a 6 day, advanced professional avalanche course, designed to continue the education of avalanche workers employed in ski areas, transportation and industry, guiding and public forecasting centers. The Pro 2 certification course is currently the most advanced avalanche course available in the USA. The course identifies best practices in avalanche risk management including data management and reporting, long term observation and documentation, risk reduction procedures, worker safety, and the development of strategies to limit the effect of bias and uncertainty on individual or team decisions.

  February 5-10, 2018 & February 26-March 2, 2018

  • Identify, describe and map avalanche paths in a tenure. Estimate return interval, magnitude and hazard to the element at risk. Discuss mitigation methods that may reduce the risk.
  • Classify deposited snow using ICSG international terms and guidelines.
  • Explain and demonstrate how to prioritize snowpack layer / interfaces using structural indices from profiles, fracture/ shear character in snowpack tests, and propagation propensity from large column tests. Explain how to manage the likelihood of error in the observation and testing process.
  • Describe each avalanche problem by the mechanics of how each avalanche type forms and releases and the tests used to identify and assess the problem in the field. Identify risk management strategies associated with each avalanche problem.
  • Analyze, observe, forecast, communicate and document the avalanche hazard and risk factors using ISO 31000 and contemporary terms and methods. Assess relevancy of data in terms of strength and weight of that data and extrapolation and interpolation. Identify sources of uncertainty in the daily forecast and describe factors that affect forecaster confidence.
  • Describe and contrast different avalanche risk treatment techniques from different operations.
  • Identify best practices for workers in avalanche terrain including characteristics of high reliability organizations (HRO), guidelines for managing workers working alone or remotely, and effective communication strategies for avalanche mitigation and guiding teams.
  • Demonstrate effective leadership in a team including strategies to minimize personal and organizational biases when making decisions.
  • Write a professional technical report for external review.