Avalanche Level 2 Recreational Class - Salt Lake City, Utah

Avalanche Level 2 Recreational Course:

UMA's Level 2 is a 24-hr advanced avalanche course sanctioned by the American Avalanche Association (A3.) Focus is on decision-making for Level 1-experienced backcountry travelers seeking to expand their knowledge of snow science; ski or climb bigger lines; travel in diverse terrain and snowpacks; and ski out-of-bounds safely even when avalanche danger is elevated.

UMA instructors are A3 pro members, highly trained and experienced as guides, teachers and athletes in various terrain, weather and snowpacks. Instructors share the practical tools and knowledge that they rely on to plan, travel, gather key snowpack information and make consequential decisions efficiently and effectively in avalanche terrain. Forty percent of the course is classroom-based. Sixty percent is in the backcountry, in and around avalanche terrain.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Understanding weather & snowpack history; current structure and layering
  • Use of local avalanche advisory and other relevant available information
  • Creating a hazard rating in remote terrain where no advisory exists
  • Recognizing scale of terrain; paths & specific features; mapping snow cover
  • Tour planning using maps, apps, timelines and safe margin
  • Increased Familiarity with characteristics & distribution of 7 primary avalanche problems
  • Recognizing Persistent Weak Layers (facets, depth hoar, surface hoar)
  • An improved grasp of snowpack processes, metamorphism & stability tests
  • Prioritizing snowpack tests and observations based on current problems
  • Proficient snowpit practices: hardness, shears, tests (CT, ECT, PST, DTT)
  • Interpretation of pit results (strength, structure, propagation)
  • Clear & concise recording of snowpack and weather observations; SWAG guidelines; snow profiles
  • Group management in complex, committing terrain & snowpacks
  • Using best practices for group communication, teamwork and decision-making
  • Identifying and avoiding human factor traps

How to Register:

Ice fall avalanche in Tien Shan Range, Kyrgyzstan

Ice fall avalanche in Tien Shan Range, Kyrgyzstan

Photo by Tyson Bradley

Course Details

2023 Dates

Jan 26-29, 2023

Mar 9-12, 2023

Course Schedule

Thur & Fri: 5:30-9pm, Interactive Virtual Lectures
Sat: 7:30am-3:30pm, Field Session
Sun: 7:30am-2:30pm, Field Session
[Travel break]
Sun. 4:30-6:30pm, Interactive Virtual Closing Lecture


Big and Little Cottonwood Canyons, Salt Lake City, Utah


$499 per person plus tax

SWAG Manual, Snow & Avalanche Field Notebook and Certificate of Completion included. Issuance of certificate contingent upon taking a separate, one-day Avalanche Rescue Class.


Requires sufficient fitness to travel 1,500 ft uphill at altitudes of 7,000 ft and above. Must be comfortable making downhill turns in variable snow conditions unless using snowshoes. Previous Level 1 Course is required, and at least one season of applying that knowledge is highly recommended.

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Utah Mountain Adventures

P.O. Box 521809

Salt Lake City, Utah 84152-1809

Phone: (801) 550 3986

Fax: (801) 486 8505

Email: uma@utahmountainadventures.com

Utah Mountain Adventures | Patagonia Utah Mountain Adventures | Forest Service Backcountry Skiing Utah, by Tyson Bradley