Colorado Adventure Guides offers AIARE 2 courses based out of our basecamp in Summit County, Colorado. This 3-day course provides backcountry leaders the opportunity to advance their avalanche knowledge and decision-making skills. 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. All students must have taken an AIARE 1, Avalanche Rescue, and have 1 season of practical experience after taking the AIARE 1 course.
Our AIARE 2 courses are unique in the sense that we only run them in hut-based or a snow camping based (tent, snow shelter) format. This is an amazing way to immerse yourself into the environment while also learning how to execute an overnight in the winter backcountry. Students will describe and discuss weather, snowpack and avalanche processes, and identify how these processes relate to observations and travel within avalanche terrain.
The first AIARE 2 course will be ran as a hut-based course and will be based out of Annas Cabin near Fremont Pass. Anna’s Cabin is a completely off-grid, private backcountry hut and located on the Continental Divide at an elevation of 11,700 ft. Surrounded by thousands of acres of San Isabel National Forest, there are no other structures for miles for a very remote feeling retreat that’s only 1.8 miles from the highway and parking area.
It’s a great base camp for backcountry adventures on the high Colorado trails. No electricity or running water – bring your own bottled water or melt snow on the woodburning stove. Indoor composting toilet facilities. Propane gas cook stove, kitchen utensils (pots, pans, etc.), and oil lamps provided. Bring your own headlamp, hut booties, sleeping bag, pillowcase and toothbrush.
Our second AIARE 2 course will be ran via snow camping and will be based out of the Montezuma area. In the late 1870s, the road up Handcart Gulch and over Webster Pass was an important mining road into Montezuma and Breckenridge during the silver boom in 1863. Handcart Gulch got its name from handcarts used by miners to carry supplies up the valley. Today Webster Pass Road provides a great opportunity to enjoy spectacular scenery along the Continental Divide.
This area is very popular with 4WD enthusiast in the summer, but becomes a winter wonderland for snowshoers and backcountry skiers/riders in the winter while providing an incredible opportunity for avalanche terrain study. Students and instructors will camp in this beautiful area via snow shelters or tents to enjoy the full experience of winter backcountry travel and also do so in a more controlled environment.
Traveling in the backcountry requires a solid understanding of avalanche risk and the knowledge to mitigate these risks through appropriate terrain assessment and decision making. Our local team of AIARE certified leaders and instructors are passionate about where we live, work, and teach and have an intimate relationship with the local terrain and snowpack conditions where we operate..
E-Learning materials, Level 1 Review, and Student Manual are sent 1 month prior to course to be completed
8:00am–4:00pm : Full day of classroom presentations and discussions for snow camping based. For hut-based we will travel into the field to the hut and then have an afternoon classroom session.
8:00am – 4:00pm : Travel to camping location, setup camp followed by field session for the rest of the day. Half day morning classroom for hut-based followed by field session
7:30am – 4:00pm : Student led tour and course close
3 days (24+ hrs)
Jan 10-12th Hut-Based
March 11-13th Camping-Based
$895 for Hut-Based
$650 for Camping-Based
6 Students:1 Instructor
204 Ryan Gulch Rd Silverthorne, CO 80498
Anna’s Cabin on Fremont Pass for Hut-Based
Camping Location for snow camp based TBD closer to course date
Overnight backpack (approx. 60L-70L)
Alpine Touring Skis, Telemark Skis, or Splitboard
Climbing Skins (must be properly fitted)
Snow Study Kit – 2 thermometers, folding ruler, magnifying loupe, knotted cord, crystal card
Sleeping bag (0 degree recommended)
Sleeping pad (can be provided upon request)
Hard or softshell pants
Synthetic or merino wool base layer
Down or synthetic pants (optional)
Down or synthetic insulated jacket
Hardshell or water/wind resistant jacket
Light gloves for uphill travel
Brimmed hat or visor
Neck gaitor or buff
Backcountry gear can be rented directly from Colorado Adventure Guides at our Silvethorne, CO Basecamp.
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Refunds will be honored for cancellations more than 14 DAYS PRIOR to a course or a camp start time. An administrative fee of 10% will be assessed for all cancellations.
All activities are Rain or Shine. In case of operator cancellation due to adverse or unsafe conditions prior to start time, first the operator will attempt to reschedule. If rescheduling is not possible, the client will receive a full refund. Operator, including guides in the field, reserve the right to shorten or reroute activity in the case of unmanageable hazards or inability of guest to complete the objective. Completion of objective-based routes is not guaranteed.
Rescheduling will be honored 14 days prior to start date. An administrative fee of 10% will be assessed for all rescheduling. This allows us the time to contact those who have been put on the wait-list.
Prior to taking the AIARE 2, students must complete:
AIARE Level 2 can be taken on alpine touring skis, or splitboard. Alpine touring skis and splitboards are available for rent from us at an additional cost. Students on skis or boards must be comfortable in steep blue to black terrain at the ski resort.
While we are very excited to bring back in-person and hut-based AIARE Level I Courses this season, we are cognizant that COVID-19 remains problematic, and we are instituting safety policies for our students, guides, and staff.
As such, for all classroom based and hut-based courses we will be requiring
Proof of full COVID-19 Vaccination
Proof of a negative COVID-19 Test 48 Hours Prior to the course
Depending on the severity of the COVID-19 situation at time of the course, we may be requiring masks for indoor courses. We will continue to follow all local, State, and CDC health guidelines throughout the season and as such our COVID policy is subject to change.
Colorado Adventure Guides is priority is keeping our patrons and students safe. Our instructors are trained to recognize potentially hazardous situations in the backcountry; they plan and operate accordingly. Prior to the start of any course or backcountry trip you will be asked to complete a brief health history. The failure to disclose pertinent information on the health history form could result in serious harm, even death, to the signing participant, other guests and/or the guide. All information submitted is completely confidential; it is for the guide’s use and would only be shared in the event of an emergency with medical and/or rescue personnel directly caring for the guest. This can be a physically demanding course, and your ability to enjoy the adventure depends on your health and fitness, thus it’s recommended that you are in good physical condition.
For those who would like to select all the members of their party, you may book a private group course. If you are interested, please let us know!
For courses your instructor will contact you at least 2 weeks prior to course start to discuss details.
Your instructors work hard before, during, and after your course to provide you with a great experience and while not expected, gratuities are always highly appreciated and if you had a safe, educational, and fun experience. Gratuities typically range from 15-20%.
Our AIARE Level 2 courses have limited capacity and tend to book up months in advance. It is strongly recommended that you reserve your spot before the winter season starts.
Questions or Inquiries?