The Pro 2 is a 6 day, advanced professional avalanche course, designed to continue the education of avalanche workers employed in ski areas, transportation and industry, guiding and public forecasting centers. The Pro 2 certification course is currently the most advanced avalanche course available in the USA. The course identifies best practices in avalanche risk management including data management and reporting, long term observation and documentation, risk reduction procedures, worker safety, and the development of strategies to limit the effect of bias and uncertainty on individual or team decisions.
Operational scale avalanche rescue is not part of this course. The AIARE Search and Rescue (SAR) and AIARE Mountain Weather courses are electives and recommended.
Requirement for Enrollment
- Avalanche Rescue Course certificate.
- PRO 1 Course certificate (or equivalent).
- Two winter seasons (40 days or more) of relevant work experience supported by a reference from a supervisor. The reference must document the applicant’s experience participating in daily operational avalanche activities that require avalanche observation and mitigation; and document the applicant’s experience leading small team (companion) avalanche rescue exercises and participation in a multi team organized rescue exercise.
Pre-course Student Submissions
In addition to the applicant resume and letter of reference supporting both work experience and participation in an organized rescue exercise, AIARE requires the applicant to submit 3 drafted snow profiles from the current winter and 3 days of operational hazard forecast forms to the AIARE Pro Program Director.
Pre Course Assignment
Upon registration students will receive a document that outlines the written assignment, which is a technical report for external review. The report is to be submitted the first day of the course for a percentage of the course grade.
The course goal is to advance knowledge of avalanches and avalanche hazard and risk assessment; and to improve individual and team decisions and to reduce accidents in the avalanche workplace. Pre course study and assignments, as well as on course operational exercises, lead the student through case studies relevant to their job. Successful students will receive the AIARE PRO 2 certificate.
- Identify, describe and map avalanche paths in a tenure. Estimate return interval, magnitude and hazard to the element at risk. Discuss mitigation methods that may reduce the risk.
- Classify deposited snow using ICSG international terms and guidelines.
- Explain and demonstrate how to prioritize snowpack layer / interfaces using structural indices from profiles, fracture/ shear character in snowpack tests, and propagation propensity from large column tests. Explain how to manage the likelihood of error in the observation and testing process.
- Describe each avalanche problem by the mechanics of how each avalanche type forms and releases and the tests used to identify and assess the problem in the field. Identify risk management strategies associated with each avalanche problem.
- Analyze, observe, forecast, communicate and document the avalanche hazard and risk factors using ISO 31000 and contemporary terms and methods. Assess relevancy of data in terms of strength and weight of that data and extrapolation and interpolation. Identify sources of uncertainty in the daily forecast and describe factors that affect forecaster confidence.
- Describe and contrast different avalanche risk treatment techniques from different operations.
- Identify best practices for workers in avalanche terrain including characteristics of high reliability organizations (HRO), guidelines for managing workers working alone or remotely, and effective communication strategies for avalanche mitigation and guiding teams.
- Demonstrate effective leadership in a team including strategies to minimize personal and organizational biases when making decisions.
- Write a professional technical report for external review.
Tom Murphy Pro 2 Scholarship Fund – More details here