Avalanche Level 2 Hut Trip

  • Price: $1,099.00
  • Duration: 3 Days, 3 Nights

Our 3-day Avalanche Level 2 Hut Trips take place at various huts throughout Colorado. Enjoy the luxury of a warm hut and easy access to alpine skiing with the best avalanche instructors around.

Colorado Mountain School teaches the American Avalanche Institute (AAI) recreational curriculum (in place of the AIARE curriculum).  The AAI curriculum is approved by the American Avalanche Association (A3) and sets a new standard for avalanche training in the United States.

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Looking for an avalanche training course in Utah, Wyoming or Montana? Sign up with our friends at American Avalanche Institute.


Avalanche Level 2 Course curriculum brought to you by:

American Avalanche Institute Logo

Take your avalanche education to the next level with our one-of-a-kind hut trips! Our Avalanche Level 2 Hut Trip runs at various huts throughout Colorado. We’ll head into the hut, settle into basecamp, and spend three nights and three days covering AAI’s Avalanche Level 2 curriculum and exploring backcountry terrain.

Our team is made of experienced AAI Qualified instructors and professional mountain guides with decades of experience in avalanche terrain. This experience comes from the Alps to Alaska to right here in the Front Range of Colorado. Colorado is one of the country’s premier backcountry skiing and splitboarding destinations. This Avalanche Level 2 Hut Trip course combines classroom and field instruction.


Colorado Mountain School Adopts American Avalanche Institute Curriculum in Place of AIARE Course Curriculum

For 50 years, the American Avalanche Institute has provided one the most successful professional and recreational avalanche training programs. At the recreational and professional levels, their courses and curricula are fully approved by the American Avalanche Association (A3). AAI’s guides, avalanche professionals, and educators create the best recreational and professional avalanche courses in the world. Read more about the switch from AIARE to AAI curriculum.

Sample Itinerary:

Your course will take place in the mountains, digging in the snow and moving through the terrain. You should be prepared, mentally and physically, to stay immersed in the backcountry for up to eight hours. You will be assigned to a small pod consisting of one AAI Qualified Instructor and a maximum of six students to simultaneously allow intimate instruction and the ability to spread out.  Here’s a preview itinerary of what your course could look like:

Optional Refresher -AAI Avalanche Level 1 Refresher

The AAI Avalanche Level 1 Refresher is a self-paced online learning module designed to provide a solid refresher before the season and/or your course.

.Self-Paced AAI e-Learning: 

The AAI Avalanche Level 2 Prep course is an optional self-paced online learning module that will give you a head start on both classroom and field topics


Day 1

  • Meet and Greet – Trailhead TBD or designated location
    • Waivers (Grand Hut, Colorado Mountain School)
    • Equipment rentals
    • Gear checks (boots, puffy, food, avalanche equipment)
    • Introduction to the AAI Backcountry Checklist
  • Beacon Check & travel to Hut
  • Hut Orientation
  • Course Introduction
    • Colorado Mountain School (who we are and what we do)
    • AAI (who they are and what they do)
  • Course overview (daily schedule, course goals)
    • Course logistics
    • Student manual, field book, pencil
    • Risk management (explain waiver, specific hazards; mitigation
      strategies – everyone is a risk manager)
  • Companion Rescue Review – single & multiple burial scenarios
    • Advanced search strategy and beacon functions
    • Micro-strip vs. 3 circle method
    • Group rescue response
    • Triage, Evac
  • Instructor led ski tour to gather observations ( Avy, Wx, Snpx )
    • Instructor demo; Review of Seasonal Snowpack; Craftsmanship, Relevancy, and Verification of Snow Observations; Snowpack Tests in the Field.
  • Return to Hut and Debrief tour and share Obs
  • Dinner Planning
  • Tour plan for Day 2 – goals and objectives 

Day 2

  • Breakfast
  • Review of Previous Day – Q&A
  • Student-led morning hazard discussion and tour plan (avalanches, snowpack, weather)
  • Student-led tour: Terrain identification and information gathering: stability tests and test pits; snowpack structure; interpreting weather data, snow surface conditions
  • In-situ discussions of how specific weak layers and avalanche conditions have formed
  • Post-Trip Debrief and sharing of field observations
  • Dinner Prep
  • Using existing snowpack, new observations and weather forecast to develop tomorrows avalanche forecast
  • Tour plan for Day 3 – goals and objectives 

Day 3

  • Breakfast
    • Pack personal gear; stash in building
    • Hut Clean-up
  • Review of Previous Day – Q&A
  • Student-led morning hazard discussion and tour plan (avalanches, snowpack, weather)
  • Student-led trailhead transceiver function check
  • Student-led tour: verify/challenge morning forecast; group management / terrain selection / travel techniques – up and down group management
  • Return to hut
  • Post-Trip Debrief and share field observations
  • Next steps: where to go from here?
  • Getting out there – what can you do on your own? What do you need a
    more skilled partner for? What skills should a mentor have?
  • Transition (Hut to Trailhead)
  • Course Close

Optional Learning Resources – All Season Long

  • Virtual mentorship sessions
  • Students-only webinars
  • Tech tip video library
  • Community facebook forum: find partners, discuss coursework & more


Meeting location:

Each Avalanche Level 2 Hut trip offered has a separate meeting location in the nearest town prior to heading to the trailhead.


Two nights of lodging is included.


We believe that avalanche training is best taught by combining theoretical concepts and experiential learning. Some topics are best learned in a comfortable classroom setting and others in the mountains, moving through terrain and digging into the snow. You’ll have both.

The majority of your course will take place in the mountains where we will learn in an open-air environment. You should be prepared, mentally and physically, to stay immersed in the backcountry for up to 6 hours. You will be assigned to a small pod consisting of one AAI Qualified Instructor and a maximum of six students to allow intimate instruction and physical distancing.

The nature of this pandemic requires us to be flexible and adaptable in how we deliver a quality training experience. Rest assured, from the moment you enroll all the way up to your course field days and beyond, our instructors will be a part of your learning progression and will provide you with the tools and resources you need to best prepare for your avalanche training course. If you’d like to learn more about what we are doing to manage COVID-19 risk for our students and guides, please view our FAQ page.

Why Our Avalanche Courses Are Worth It:

  • AAI curriculum was developed, refined and honed by working Professionals in some of the most avalanche prone mountain ranges of North America.
  • Our Instructors are educators, not just minimally qualified instructors
  • We spend the majority of the course in the mountains, not inside
  • We provide valuable pre-course material to help you prepare
  • We provide bonus education opportunities to help you keep learning
  • Our Instructors are career guides, with decades of personal backcountry experience
  • Our Instructors are AMGA Ski Guide-trained or certified
  • We have a full-time office staff of GUIDES to answer all of your questions
  • Dozens of course dates to meet our guests scheduling needs
  • Get avalanche training in the ski venue you ski in locally
  • Fully sponsored by industry leaders Dynafit, SCARPA, Backcountry Access
  • Full avalanche rescue kit rentals at no charge – try before you buy

AAI Pro 1 or Avalanche Level 2?

We get this question often. The Pro 1 is a professional, entry-level course that focuses on teaching skills to facilitate sharing and using information while working within an operation (e.g. ski resort, guide service, CDOT, etc.). The Pro 1 is less valuable if you are not working in an operation where you will use these skills.

Recreational travelers conduct a similar risk management process, but do it without the broad network of information and personnel support an operation provides. There is greater uncertainty and they (generally) have fewer days using a risk management process. Because of this, they operate with greater uncertainty. Enter Avalanche Level 2.

All Upcoming Dates and Locations:

  • February 9, 2024 - February 11, 2024 - Avalanche Level 2 Hut Trip - Gould, Colorado
  • March 22, 2024 - March 24, 2024 - Avalanche Level 2 Hut Trip - Gould, Colorado

Student learning outcomes:

  • Tracking the season snowpack history and link it to relevant snowpack processes and avalanche conditions
  • Weather history, avalanche problems, and stability assessment – create a forecast without a public bulletin
  • Formation of persistent weak layers – facets, depth hoar, surface hoar
  • Wet snow metamorphism
  • Avalanche terrain – large & small scale features
  • Group management in challenging/complex terrain
  • Stability tests – incorporating strength, structure and propagation potential
  • Introduction to SWAG documentation
  • Tour planning
  • Use of the AAI Backcountry Avalanche Checklist as a field tool for sorting & prioritizing information
  • Human factor traps and solutions
  • Case studies with analysis using AAI Backcountry Avalanche Checklist


  • Avalanche Level 1 or equivalent Level 1 training is required.
  • Avalanche Rescue Course
  • This course can be taken on AT skis or splitboard. Participants must have experience on their setup prior to taking this course and be comfortable in steep blue to black terrain at the areas.


Who Should Take this Course:
The Avalanche Level 2 is a three-day course for those who have taken an Avalanche Level 1 and Avalanche Rescue and have had at least a year of backcountry travel experience. The Avalanche Level 2 provides backcountry leaders the opportunity to advance their avalanche knowledge and decision making skills, this course is also a great opportunity for Professionals to hone and refine skills and knowledge prior to taking their AAI Pro 1.


8am - 5pm


3 Days, 3 Nights

Maximum Ratio:


Minimum Age:

Please call to register participants under 18
Experience Level


Activity Level



Backcountry Skiing & Splitboarding



Price Includes:

Price Excludes:

  • Food
  • Transportation
  • Lodging Outside of Hut Days
  • Clothing, backpack and non-technical personal items
  • Skiing Equipment (Recommend Neptune Mountaineering)
  • Park Entrance Fees (where applicable)
  • Rescue Insurance
  • Trip Insurance
  • Gratuity
  • Misc. Charges
    • Rescue Fees
    • Helicopter Fees
    • Trip Insurance
  • Expenses due to unforeseen circumstances beyond the control of Colorado Mountain School

Item Description Quantity Example Purchase At Rent At Equipment Type
Avalanche Beacon

Modern, digital, three-antennae beacon with fresh batteries.


BCA Tracker 3 or 4

Neptune Mountaineering

Colorado Mountain School or Neptune Mountaineering



Q: Will COVID-19 impact my course?

A: 2020 made it clear that running programs while managing the risk of COVID-19 transmission is a challenge. It is a challenge that the Colorado Mountain School team tackled creatively and courageously. We may need to shift our classrooms to virtual settings at a moment’s notice. We may need to put on masks unexpectedly. We may need to go outside and distance ourselves. No matter what though, we are committed to running programs, providing education, and serving our mission, while also maintaining the highest standards of risk management. Please visit our FAQ page or contact us for more information.


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