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Avalanche Training Level II (Feb. 16-19, 2024)

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Event description

This course will build upon skills and theory covered in the Level 1 Avalanche Course. Students are required to have completed a Level 1 Course. The level 2 avalanche course is designed for experienced winter backcountry recreationists, search and rescue personnel and winter recreation managers. Students will learn advanced skills to understand the conditions responsible for snow avalanches and the ability to avoid avalanche hazards.

This course includes eight hours of Avalanche Rescue Fundamentals - a prerequisite for the Level 2 course. This level 2 course totals ~40 hours of curriculum (3 days of field instruction and self-paced online course) and will build upon skills and theory covered in the Level 1 Avalanche Course. Students are also expected to have gained some personal experience (at least one season) since completing their level 1 curriculum, a required prerequisite for level 2.

Participants will engage in discussions of scenarios they have encountered through their own backcountry experiences as a means of analyzing decision-making practices, risk tolerance, and human factors. An emphasis of instruction will be the accurate documentation of observations, test results, and snowpack analysis, strictly adhering to Snow, Weather and Avalanche Observations Guidelines for the United States (SWAG) standards and nomenclature.

The field portions of the course will entail real-life decision-making in avalanche terrain. Participants must be prepared for the seriousness of the terrain navigated, in terms of skill, physical fitness, environmental conditions, and personal equipment used. In this way, the level two course format bridges recreational and professional training in snow dynamics.

All students must have an avalanche transceiver, probe, shovel, and inclinometer.

There is an online meeting from approximately 6:30 PM to 8:00 PM on Friday evening before the field days.

Please note that this course may be canceled due to insufficient snow or not enough registered students. 

The field portion of the course will be run by KPAC staff in the terrain surrounding Arizona Snowbowl, the Kachina Peaks Wilderness, and the Inner Basin. 

The classroom components are online modules developed by The American Avalanche Institute. Students will spend seven to ten hours completing the online coursework. KPAC recommends that students complete the online course before the field sessions. The online modules must be completed before receiving a Level 2 certificate. The online modules have optional "deep dives" for those wanting more information.


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