Avalanche Level 2 Recreational Class - Salt Lake City, Utah

Avalanche Level 2 Recreational Course:

Join Utah Mountain Adventures, the most experienced Utah-based avalanche school, for this advanced, 24-hour course. It is designed to advance the practical knowledge of backcountry travelers with prior Level 1 and Avalanche Rescue training and at least one season of experience, seeking to build decision-making, forecasting, route-finding and leadership skills for recreational mountaineering, ski touring, splitboarding, snowmobiling, ice climbing, etc.


The Recreational Avalanche Level 2 focus is on decision-making for experienced backcountry travelers seeking to ski or climb bigger lines; travel in diverse terrain and snowpacks; or ski out-of-bounds safely even when avalanche danger is considerable or high

Professional Avi 1 and 2, by contrast, are aimed at training avalanche professionals (ski patroller, guides, forecasters, etc.) Precise record-keeping; technical report writing; operational decisions; stringent, timed rescue tests; detailed study plots and data pits, all integral to pro curriculum, are NOT part of Rec Avi 2. Instead, broadly experienced UMA guides share w/ students the practical tools they actually use to make consequential up and downhill route-finding decisions efficiently and effectively.

This course will cover the following:

  • Weather & snowpack history; current structure and layering
  • Use of local advisory and other relevant available information
  • Creating a hazard rating in remote terrain where no advisory exists
  • Student tour planning using maps, apps, timelines and safe margins
  • Scale of terrain; paths & specific features; mapping snow cover
  • Group management in complex, committing terrain & snowpacks
  • Characteristics & distribution of 7 primary avalanche problems
  • Prioritizing snowpack tests and observations based on current issues
  • Snowpit practices: hardness, shears, tests (CT, ECT, PST, DTT)
  • Interpretation of test results (strength, structure, propagation, etc)
  • Persistent weak layers (facets, depth hoar, surface hoar, etc)
  • Clear & concise recording of obs; SWAG guidelines; snow profiles
  • Student-led analyses of avalanche accidents to promote learning
  • Group communication, teamwork and decision-making tools

The schedule includes lectures on Friday morning, followed by an afternoon field session. Saturday is a full-day, advanced ski tour after a morning meeting. Sunday includes a pre-brief before student-led tours and snowpack tests. We finish indoors by 5 pm with talks and interactive lessons.

Forty percent of the course is classroom-based; 60% is in the field. Travel is in and around backcountry avalanche terrain. Instructors are American Avalanche Association pro members, highly trained and experienced as guides, instructors and athletes in various terrain, weather and snowpacks.

The graduate of this course will have an improved grasp of snowpack processes & stability tests; terrain management & safe travel; 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

2020 Dates

Jan 31-Feb 2, 2020

Mar 13-15, 2020


Fri 8am-5pm, Sat 8am-5pm & Sun 8am-5pm


Salt Lake City, Alta, Wasatch Backcountry, Utah


$399 per person plus tax


Fit enough to travel in backcountry terrain for up to 8 hours/day in winter conditions for 3 consecutive days on touring skis, splitboard or snowhoes.


Avalanche Level 1; Avalanche Rescue Training; and at least 1 season of backcountry travel

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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