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AIARE Level 2 Chamonix

AIARE Avalanche Safety - invest in something that could save your life

The American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education’s mission is to “save lives through avalanche education”. We have no doubt this course could save your life.

AIARE 2 is a 4 day avalanche safety course that provides backcountry riders with the opportunity to advance their avalanche knowledge and decision making skills when going off-piste.

The AIARE 2 builds on from the basic avalanche safety skills introduced in the AIARE 1, and adds to the analysis of factors critical to evaluation snow stability and avalanche risk. If you have not already done so, you should complete the AIARE Level 1 Avalanche Safety Course first.

AIARE avalanche safety courses are the result of a collaboration between Canadian, Swiss and American mountain guides. AIARE sets curriculum standards for avalanche education from recreational to professional levels. The curriculum evolves with changes in the world of avalanche research and education. All AIARE instructors are certified and required to stay current for the level of course they are teaching.

There are currently 60 registered AIARE course providers and 200 instructors worldwide. Chamonix Experience is one of only two recognised AIARE course providers in Europe - more information can be found at www.avtraining.org.

Description

The AIARE Level 2 is a 4 day course, which aims to:

  • Advance your understanding of avalanche terrain, particularly from the perspective of stability analysis.
  • Advance your understanding of avalanche release and triggering mechanisms.
  • Improve your avalanche rescue skills including multiple and deep burials.
  • Discuss how the snowpack develops and metamorphoses over time and discuss factors that contribute to spatial variability.
  • Learn standard observation guidelines and recording formats for factors that influence or indicate snow stability.
  • Introduce a snow stability analysis and forecasting framework.

Chamonix Experience has been working alongside AIARE for many years and it is important to us not only to guide our clients in the great mountains surrounding us, but also to educate them so they can understand the risks and approach the mountains safely.

This course is always run by an AIARE instructor, who is also a qualified UIAGM mountain guide, which means that you benefit from the AIARE syllabus, as well as the experience of the mountain guide who has been leading clients in the mountains for years.

Price

695€

Price per person; group size minimum 4 people for the course to run

Course Dates

Any date on demand

Included

Guiding & Tuition

4 days of guiding and instruction by an UIAGM qualified mountain guide and AIARE level 2 qualified course leader.

Course Materials

AIARE course manual and field book.

Certificate

AIARE course certificate of completion.

Group Equipment

Ropes, safety equipment, etc will be provided when needed by your guide.

Safety Equipment

We can provide the essential safety equipment of harness, avalanche transceiver, probe and shovel if you do not have your own. We can also lend you a backpack with straps for carrying your skis/snowboard on request.

Office Support

Our team is based at the foot of the Aiguillle du Midi cable car and will be happy to help you with any questions you may have before, during or after your trip to Chamonix.

Not Included

Skis / Snowboards

The price does not include skis/snowboards, boots or clothing. If you do not have your own we can help you organise rental, please ask us for details.

Lift Passes

We will advise you on which lift passes you will need prior to your trip. If lift passes are required we can preorder them for you on request.

Insurance

We strongly recommend that you take our Search and Rescue mountain insurance - we can organise this for you on request.

Food & Drink

The price does not include lunch or snacks. You can bring your own food and we can stop for a picnic, or there may be the option to buy lunch at a mountain hut. Please make sure that you are carrying sufficient water and snacks as we will be in the mountains for a number of hours.

Accommodation

Accommodation in Chamonix is not included in the price but we would be happy to advise or organise it on request.

Travel to Chamonix

The price does not include flights, airport transfers or any other travel to/from Chamonix. However, we can organise airport transfers for you on request, please contact us for details.

Day 1

Welcoming meeting with the Chamonix Experience office staff and the AIARE Leader. The majority of the day is indoors, with a 2 -3 hour session outdoors.

Morning Indoors:

Introductions and logistics

Level 1 Review

Case Study

Afternoon:

Outdoors: Companion rescue upgrade

Indoors:

Mountain Weather

Seasonal Snowpack Review

Formation and Classification of New Snow

Day 2

There is a morning session indoors (about 3 hours), then an afternoon session outdoors, with a finishing lecture indoors.

Morning Indoors:

Metamorphism, Sintering and Bonding

Weak Layers Characteristics

Snowpack Data Classes and Instability Factors

Intro to SWAG recording

Afternoon Outdoors:

Field Weather Demo

Full Snow Profile Demo

Return to Classroom - Record Observations

Day 3

There is a morning session indoors (1-2 hours), then the bulk of the day is spent outdoors on a short tour. The day finishes with an indoor session (1.5 hours).

Morning Indoors:

Making Observations Relevant

Comparison of Shear Quality and Fracture Character

Morning/Afternoon Outdoors:

Gathering Information/Observations over Terrain

Test Profiles

Large Column Tests

Afternoon Indoors:

Introducing the Instability Factor Checklist and Analysis

Day 4

This day is mostly spent on a ski tour, but with indoor sessions at the beginning and the end of the day (about 1.5 hours each)

Morning Indoors:
AM Stability Analysis/AM Weather Update/Stability forecast
trip planning and risk management for small groups

Morning/Afternoon Outdoors:

Group tour - Verify stability forecast

Group management / Terrain selection/Travel techniques

Afternoon Indoors:

Tour Debrief

PM Instability Analysis

Course Close

Clothing

Warm hat

Warm hat

Fleece or woollen layers

Fleece or woollen layers

Light puffer jacket

Light puffer jacket

Windproof and waterproof jacket

Windproof and waterproof jacket

Windproof and waterproof trousers

Windproof and waterproof trousers

Warm gloves

Warm gloves

Thin gloves

Thin gloves

Sun hat

Sun hat

Hiking boots

Hiking boots

Thermal underwear

Thermal underwear

Technical gear

Ski goggles

Ski goggles

Ski / splitboard skins

Ski / splitboard skins

Ski poles

Ski poles

35 - 45 litres rucksack with attachment loops for skis or snowboard

35 - 45 litres rucksack with attachment loops for skis or snowboard

Ski touring skis

Ski touring skis

Ski touring boots

Ski touring boots

Splitboard

Splitboard

Snowboard boots

Snowboard boots

Ski / splitboard crampons

Ski / splitboard crampons

Safety Equipment

Avalanche transceiver, shovel and probe

Avalanche transceiver, shovel and probe

Extras

Sunglasses

Sunglasses

Water bottle (1 litre minimum)

Water bottle (1 litre minimum)

Sun cream high protection (for lips and face)

Sun cream high protection (for lips and face)