AIARE 2 Hut Trip

  • Price:
  • Duration: 3 Days, 2 Nights

Our 3-day AIARE 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 AIARE instructors around.

This product is currently out of stock and unavailable.

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


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

Our team is made of experienced AIARE 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 AIARE 2 Hut Trip course combines classroom and field instruction.

AIARE | The American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education


Why our AIARE Courses Are Worth It!:

  • Colorado Mountain School is the country’s 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
  • Variety of course offerings to meet our guests scheduling needs. Huts, Splits, 3-Day, Level 2’s
  • Get avalanche training in the ski venue you ski in locally
  • Fully sponsored by industry leaders Dynafit, Scarpa, Backcountry Access
  • Full snow safety rental fleet
  • Neptune Mountaineering ski shop support with rentals of ski equipment.

Sample Itinerary:

Day 1

7:45 – Meet and greet at trailhead or local coffee shop

  • Waivers (10th Mountain, Colorado Mountain School)
  • Equipment rentals if needed
  • Gear checks (boots, puffy, food, avalanche equipment)

8:45 – Beacon Check & Approach to Hut ( approach times differ between huts )
10:00 – Hut Orientation
10:15 – Introduction

  • Colorado Mountain School (who we are and what we do)
  • AIARE (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)

11:15 –  Companion Rescue Review – single & multiple burial scenarios

  • Advanced marking functions
  • Micro-strip vs. 3 circle method
  • Group rescue response
  • Triage, Evac

11:35 – Lunch Break
12:00 – Instructor led ski tour to gather observations ( Avy, Wx, Snpx )

3:00 – Return to Hut and Debrief Obs

3:20 – Human Factors, DMF; Case Study

  • Intro to Human Factors (as reason for DMF)
  • DMF
  • Case Study

4:45 – Debrief & Dinner Planning

Day 2

7:00- 8:00 – Breakfast

8:00 – Overview of Upcoming Day; Review of Previous Day
8:10 – Avalanche Types, Character, and Problems of the day

  • Types; Characters
  • Define Problems along with typical problem traits (i.e. spatial
    distribution, surface vs. deep, consequence/size, directly related
    weather/season, trigger types, etc.)
  • R scale; D scale
  • Avalanche Motions

9:10 – Avalanche Terrain

  • SEATTL acronym: Slope, Elevation, Aspect, Trigger
    points, Terrain traps, Location within range
  • Move outside to identify SEATTL components in the field
  • Choose terrain exercise

10:00 – Avalanche Forecast & Online Observations

  • Introduce Colorado Avalanche Information Center; online Wx resources
  • Fill out field books

10:10 – Field Observations

  • Advanced observations in the field: Avalanches, Weather, Snowpack
  • Critical Red Flag Observations
  • Pre-draw Pit Profile graphs in Field Book for stratigraphy
  • Field Wx obs

10:40 – Field Obs Tour; Advanced snowpack tests

  • Weather observations
  • Hand shear, Shovel tilt, Shovel Shear
  • Snow pit: layer identification, hand hardness, CT, point out a facet, point out a round, fracture character
    & shear quality for CTs. Extended Column test, PST.
  • Graph stratigraphy when identifying layers and hand hardness
  • Travel wisely techniques

4:00 – Share Observations; Review; Q&A

  • Share Obs: Avalanche, Weather, Snowpack; Stratigraphy
  • Why do we dig pits

4:25 – Human Factors Case Study

  • Introduction to heuristics / facets
  • Brainstorm strategies to combat human factors

4:55 – Debrief & Dinner Prep

Day 3

7:00-8:00 – Breakfast

8:00 – Plan

  • Describe the steps of planning a tour (online obs, group goals,
    choose destination, create run list/tour plan, emergency response)

8:30 – Field Group Planning

  • Field group planning session
  • Maps

9:15 – Transition

  • Pack personal gear; stash in building
  • Hut Clean-up

10:00 – Student-Led Ski Tour

  • Students lead the day – out in front, setting pace, making
    navigation decisions
  • Goals for the day: group leadership, pacing practice, group
    communication in circles, field observations, pits, companion rescue,
    identifying avalanche terrain, choosing terrain and practicing travel
    wisely techniques, navigation skills, self-care
  • Choose terrain and travel wisely: students practice what
    they’ve been shown, and show more when appropriate (1 at a time,
    spread out, safe zone to safe zone, buddies in the trees, 5 second gaps,
    spotters, stacking tracks, avoiding trigger points)
  • Companion Rescue practice
  • Debrief the day back at the hut.

3:00 – Course Debrief (at hut)

  • 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?
  • Resources: Mountain Hub, BCA website, CMS, CAIC, Front Range Ski
    Mo, NOLS/WMI

3:40 – Transition (Hut to Trailhead)

  • Pack up
  • Ski to trailhead
  • Check in rental gear

4:45 – Course Close

Meeting location:

Each AIARE 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 AIARE 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.

All Upcoming Dates and Locations:

  • No dates found

This three-day course 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

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.
  • Apply a routine to foster TEAMWORK while planning for and travelling in avalanche terrain.
  • PREPARE for backcountry travel with seasonal and daily routines.
  • Create a PLAN to manage a group travelling in avalanche terrain.
  • Apply the RIDE SAFELY checklists to promote situational awareness, to foster group communication, and to use terrain to reduce risk.
  • Review decisions and the decision-making process to intentionally develop experience through a daily DEBRIEF.
  • Practice Avalanche Rescue and effectively use personal avalanche rescue equipment.
  • Develop and use a life-long learning plan.

By the end of an AIARE 2 course, Participants will be able to:

  1. As a facilitator of a group, apply The AIARE Framework to plan a trip, communicate, manage risk, and reflect on the trip.
  2. PREPARE for backcountry travel each season by practicing rescue skills, and by developing a personal catalog of terrain options that relate to the seasonal snowpack history, weather, and avalanche danger.
  3. Facilitate the creation of a PLAN with the advisory or available relevant data that enables a group to limit exposure while travelling in avalanche terrain.
  4. Apply the RIDE SAFELY checklists to evaluate conditions and facilitate the process of communicating hazard and risk within a group.
  5. Apply the RIDE SAFELY checklists to evaluate avalanche terrain and choose terrain that matches the conditions and skills of the group.
  6. Promote discussion within a team that travels together, decides together, listens to every voice, challenges assumptions, and respects any veto.
  7. Facilitate a DEBRIEF that summarizes conditions, reviews decisions, and discusses ways to improve the plan in order to intentionally develop experience.
  8. Develop a plan that assesses personal knowledge, skills and abilities and creates a strategy for continued development and learning.


AIARE 1 Course or equivalent Level 1 training is required.
AIARE Avalanche Rescue Course
-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.


8am - 5pm


3 Days, 2 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 2 or 3

Neptune Mountaineering

Colorado Mountain School or Neptune Mountaineering

Avalanche Probe

Collapsable metal or carbon rod used to probe avalanche debris while attempting to strike a buried target.


BCA Stealth 300

Neptune Mountaineering

Colorado Mountain School or Neptune Mountaineering

Avalanche Rescue Shovel

Ski specific shovel used to dig pits and avalanche rescue. A metal blade is mandatory.


BCA B1 Ext

Neptune Mountaineering

Colorado Mountain School or Neptune Mountaineering

Backpack: 20-40 liter

Packs smaller than this tend not to be able to carry the necessary amount of equipment and clothing.



Neptune Mountaineering

Colorado Mountain School

Backpack: 45-65 liter

The approach to the hut will be more than 1 hour uphill. Everything you will be carrying should fit inside the pack.



5 50L

Neptune Mountaineering

Baselayer Bottoms

Synthetic or Merino Wool, Lightweight or mid-weight are recommended.


Men: Rab Syncrino Leggings
Women: Rab Syncrino Leggings


Beanie or Fleece Hat

Should cover the ears and fit under a helmet. Hats with fluff balls on top do not fit under helmets.


Filament Beanie


Bowl, mug, fork, and spoon

Personal utensils


Sea to Summit Delta Camp Set

Neptune Mountaineering

Climbing Skins

Nylon or mohair. Trimmed and adjusted to fit your skis or splitboard ahead of time.


Dynafit Speedskin

Neptune Mountaineering

Neptune Mountaineering


Used for navigation and orientation. A compass with adjustable declination is preferrable.


Silva Ranger CLQ

Neptune Mountaineering

Ear Plugs

Sometimes fellow campers snore. Ear plugs may help you get quality rest.


Foam ear plugs

Face Mask – PPE

Should be made with at least two layers of fabric. Your mask needs to cover your nose and mouth without large gaps. The mask should have ear loops or ties so you can adjust it. Look for a mask with a bendable border at the top so you can mold the mask to fit the bridge of your nose and prevent your glasses from fogging.

2 Clothing
First Aid Kit

Your guide will have an emergency First Aid Kit. You should bring a small kit including blister prevention and care products such as a role of athletic tape and Moleskin. Your kit should also contain a few Band-aids, some Tylenol and Ibuprofen.


Neptune Mountaineering


Proper lunches that are prepared ahead of time are recommended (sandwich, burrito, leftover pizza, etc), along with an assortment of snack bars, gels, or trail mixes. Feeze-dried meals are acceptable on overnight trips, but not day trips.


Made in Nature, Thrive Tribe

Neptune Mountaineering


Protect your eyes and face from wind and sun burn.


Julbo Airflux

Neptune Mountaineering

Hardshell Pants

These should be non-insulated pants with ankle cuffs wide enough to fit over your ski or ride boots.


Men: Rab Khroma Kinetic Pant
Women: Rab Women’s Khroma Kinetic Pants

Rab Stores


Load with fresh batteries. Critical for hiking before sunrise and great to have in the pack in case you are caught out after dark.


Neptune Mountaineering

Heavyweight Waterproof Glove

This glove comes out when the winter going gets cold and wet or at higher altitudes.


Men: Pivot GTX Glove
Women: Pivot GTX Glove

Rab Store

Hot Drinks

Coffee, tea, hot cocoa are great for warming up when it’s cold outside.


Cusa Tea; Alpine Start Coffee

Neptune Mountaineering

Hut Shoes

Having a slipper, bootie, or Croc to walk around in while inside the hut keeps your socks dry and your feet warmer and more comfortable.


Neptune Mountaineering

Lightweight Baselayer Top

Synthetic or Merino Wool; Worn against the skin and is considered a “wicking” layer that facilitates the movement of moisture away from the skin and through the layers. Hooded base layers add extra versatility.


Men: Rab Syncrino Base LS Tee
Women: Rab Syncrino Base LS Tee


Lightweight Gloves

Synthetic; Thin gloves used when hiking the early morning approach. Belay gloves can suffice if full-fingered.


Rab Vapour-Rise Glove

Rab Store

Lip ScreenSPF 15 or higher.

Non-SPF rated lip balms can actually increase your chances of getting burned.


Rocky Mountain Sunscreen Lip Balm

Neptune Mountaineering

Mechanical Pencil

Great for taking notes in the field.

1 Optional
Midweight Baselayer Top

Synthetic or Merino Wool; Adds extra warmth and protection from the cold and wind without creating a moisture barrier as a jacket would. Having at least one base layer that is hooded adds versatility, protecting the neck and ears from cold winds.


Men: Rab Ascendor Light Hoodie
Women: Rab Ascendor Light Hoodie


Midweight Softshell Glove

This is the workhorse glove and is most often worn on warmer days when mountaineering. Softshell gloves are water-resistant and durable. They often have leather palms and fingers.


Rab Khroma Tour Glove


Neck Gaiter

“Buffs” are quite versatile in their uses. They can be used as light beanies, neck warmers, and can offer face protection from the cold wind or sun.


CMS Neck Gaiter

Neptune Mountaineering


It can be nice to have something clean to change into each night for sleeping in your sleeping bag.

1 Clothing
Personal Care Items

Medications, glasses or contacts, feminine products, etc.

1 Optional
Personal Toilet Kit

At minimum, bring a small Ziploc with toilet paper. Consider bringing a travel sized package of hand-wipes. Idealy, purchase, or for free from the RMNP Backcountry office, bring a “Rest Stop.” The Rest Stop, known as “Blue Bags” in the Pacific Northwest, or the “Wag Bag” in other areas, are poop-in-a-bag systems that include toilet paper and a sanitizing hand wipe.


Neptune Mountaineering

Ski Helmet

This item is recommended but not required. We will be skiing in the trees, and in snow conditions where rocks, stumps, and downded logs are present.


Camp Speed Comp

Neptune Mountaineering

Ski or Snowboard Boots

Footwear should be appropriate to mode of travel i.e. ski, snowboard, or insulated winter boots for snowshoes. For snowshoers, a boot such as the Scarpa Mont Blanc is the minimum level of boot required. Ski Boots should have a walk mode.


Scarpa Maestrale RS

Neptune Mountaineering

Neptune Mountaineering

Ski or Trekking Poles

Two poles, with powder baskets, are required for all skiers, splitboarders, and snowshoers. It is ideal if poles are ski-specific and collapse small enough to fit onto a pack when climbing.


BCA Scepter

Neptune Mountaineering

Colorado Mountain School; Neptune Mountaineering

Ski Straps

18″ Rubber or velcro straps to connect skis when attaching them to a pack. Also useful for a variety of in-the-field equipment repairs.


BCA Ski Strap

Neptune Mountaineering

Skis or Snowboard

Skis should have touring bindings; lightweight tech bindings are ideal. Splitboards are ideal for snowboarders. Snowboarders using resort snowboards will need to have snowshoes and poles.


Dynafit Beast 98; Dynafit ST Radical 100

Neptune Mountaineering

Neptune Mountaineering

Sleeping Bag (10° to 35°)

Down or synthetic sleeping bag is acceptible.


Rab Neutrino 400

Rab Store

Neptune Mountaineering

Smart Phone App

There are a plethora of apps that assist in navigation. These apps use your phone’s GPS functions and can work in the mountains offline.


Avanet; Gaia Maps; Topo Maps


Great for taking photos and videos. Smartphone batteries tend to shut down in freezing temps – keep your phone in a warm inner layer. A tether is ideal in the mountains to protet against dropping your phone.

1 Optional
Softshell and Fleece Jacket

Water-resistant, windproof, yet it “breaths,” which means it allows moisture to move through. Hoods are ideal. There are multiple thicknesses of Softshell jackets. A lightweight or medium-weight jacket is preferred. Fleece jackets are acceptable.


Men: Rab VR Summit Jacket
Women: Rab VR Summit Jacket


Sports Bra

Provides support and allows for full range of motion


North Face Beyond the Wall

Neptune Mountaineering

Sun Hat

A billed hat to keep the bright mountain sun at bay.


Rab Trucker Logo Cap



“Wrap-Around” style sunglasses with 100% UV Protection.


Julbo Shield

Neptune Mountaineering

SunscreenSPF 30 or higher.

Travel size.


Rocky Mountain Sunscreen SPF 50

Neptune Mountaineering

Synthetic or Down Puffy Jacket

Fits over all other layers and is worn at breaks and on really cold days. Synthetic puffies are more durable, are easily laundered, and dry out quickly if wet. Down puffies are lighter weight, pack smaller, and provide exceptional warmth, but once wet, they stay wet.


Men: Rab Mythic Alpine Light Jacket
Women: Rab Mythic Alpine Light Jacket


Synthetic or Merino Wool Socks

Wool and synthetic blends are great for long days on the trail. “Ski” and “Snowboard” socks are especially useful when warmth is desired.


Point 6 AT Hike Light Crew

Neptune Mountaineering


Many ice climbers prefer to bring a thermos of hot water or soup instead of one of their water bottles.


Neptune Mountaineering

Toe Warmers and Hand Heaters

Help keep you warm on particularly cold days.


Neptune Mountaineering


Bring enough for the trip. Toothpaste; brush, floss, deodorant, lotion, eye drops, wet wipes, hand sanitizer, etc.

1 Optional
Watch with Altimiter

An altimeter is very useful in gauging progression of altitude gain or loss when climbing, and especially when visibility is decreased due to weather. Many Altimeter watches have compasses or GPS tracking functions.


Suunto Vector; Suunto Core

Neptune Mountaineering

Water Bottles

1 liter bottles are the standard. Bladders such as Camelbacks and Platypus are acceptable for above freezing temps, but only in conjunction with another bottle. Bladders are not acceptable during sub freezing temps. Sports drinks are also acceptable.


Nalgene, Hydro Flask

Neptune Mountaineering

Waterproof Shell Jacket

Non-insulated, Gore-Tex, Dermizax, Event, or other waterproofing system is required. Mostly, this jacket sits in the bottom of your pack and comes out when the weather gets nasty with precipitation. This jacket should fit over all other layers.


Men: Rab Khroma Cirque GORE-TEX Jacket
Women: Rab Women’s Khroma Cirque GORE-TEX Jacket




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.


There are no reviews yet.

Only logged in customers who have purchased this product may leave a review.

Stay Connected

Enjoy free tips and tricks from professional mountain guides, special offers and updates, and much more.

  • Hidden
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.