AIARE Level 2

The Next Step in Avalanche Education

In the past the AIARE 2 was designed to be an entry level professional course. New for 2017, the redesigned AIARE 2 is designed specifically to meet the needs of advanced recreational students who have taken an AIARE 1 and Avalanche Rescue Class.

The AIARE 2 is a three-day/24-hour course that provides backcountry travelers an opportunity to advance their decision making skills in more complicated situations such as being a leader within a small travel group, traveling in more complicated terrain, and/or developing a travel plan where online resources are scarce. We also have one, four day split course option that runs on Wednesday & Friday Evenings from 6-9pm and Saturday/Sunday 8-5pm.

The AIARE 2 builds on the introductory avalanche hazard management model introduced in the AIARE 1 and adds to it the evaluation of critical hazard assessment factors. Students will describe and discuss weather, snowpack and avalanche processes, and identify how these processes relate to observations and travel within avalanche terrain.

AIARE Level 2 Avalanche Education Course, Colorado

Course Details


This three-day course, held in Rocky Mountain National Park, emphasizes field observations, documentation and the science of snow. You’ll learn advanced snow stability analysis, avalanche forecasting and how to observe and record weather, snowpack, and avalanche activity.

Topics include:

  • More about avalanche terrain, particularly from the perspective of stability analysis
  • How the snowpack develops and metamorphoses over time; and discuss the factors that contribute to spatial variability
  • The standard observation guidelines and recording formats for factors that influence or indicate snow stability
  • An advanced understanding of avalanche release and triggering mechanisms
  • How to use snow stability analysis and a forecasting framework


-AIARE 1 Course or equivalent Level 1 training is required.
-AIARE Avalanche Rescue Course (NEW 2017 REQUIREMENT; offered every Thursday and Sunday).
-Participants must be on an AT setup, Tele setup, or splitboard.
-Participants must know how to skin, ski hard blues/blacks at the resort, and ski in powder.


Who Should Take this Course:
The AIARE 2 is a three-day course for those who have taken an AIARE 1 and Avalanche Rescue and have had at least a year of backcountry travel experience. The AIARE 2 provides backcountry leaders the opportunity to advance their avalanche knowledge and decision making skills.




3 Days

Maximum Ratio:


Price includes & Excludes:


  • AIARE Certified Course Leader and Instructor/s
  • Digital AIARE Course Manual
  • AIARE Field Book
  • BCA Slope Meter
  • CMS Golf Pencil
  • AIARE Certificate of Completion provided by AIARE
  • Avalanche Equipment
    • Beacon
    • Shovel
    • Probe
    • Snowshoes


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

Meeting location:

Varies by Course (please consult our office to confirm):

Colorado Mountain School
341 Moraine Avenue
Estes Park, CO 80517


Fall River Village
200 Filbey Ct
Estes Park, CO 80517


Reasons Why CMS AIARE Courses Are Worth It!

  • CMS is the countries largest AIARE Provider for a reason!
  • 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
  • Our Instructors are career guides, with decades of personal experience
  • Our Instructors are AMGA Ski Guide trained or Certified
  • We have a full-time office staff to answer all of your questions
  • We supply our students with their own slope meter
  • Variety of course offerings to meet our guests scheduling needs. Huts (Berthoud), Splits, CMS, Summit, Aspen L2's
  • Get avalanche training in the ski venue you ski in locally.
  • Fully sponsored by industry leaders Dynafit, Scarpa, BCA.
  • Full snow safety rental fleet.
  • Neptune ski shop support with rentals of ski equip.

Equipment List:


With a sixteen-bed lodge available, Colorado Mountain School provides students the opportunity to spend their entire stay in Estes Park without the hassle of commuting. Our lodge is conveniently located in downtown Estes Park and features a full kitchen, WiFi and hot showers. Reserve a bed now for just $40 per night (plus tax).


All of our courses can be run as custom outings.  If your group is interested in a custom avalanche training course, please call us at 800-836-4008.


Student learning outcomes

  • Differentiate where specific avalanche hazards exist within the landscape and identify avalanche terrain where consequences may be more severe.
  • Use and interpret weather, snow, and avalanche observations to locate appropriate terrain prior to entering and while in the field.
  • Demonstrate leadership skills within a small team that include facilitating small group discussion, promoting appropriate terrain selection, and utilizing simple risk management strategies.
  • Implement a basic forecasting framework that can be used in conjunction with and in the absences of local supporting avalanche information.