Where the PRO 1 focuses on avalanche workers as team members, the PRO 2 is designed for those who are (or will become) operational leaders, such as: the lead in avalanche forecasting operations and guides or ski patrol leaders who operate alone and/or will be responsible for risk management of a group or a team.
The PRO 2 is an advanced professional avalanche course designed to continue the education of avalanche workers employed in ski areas, transportation, industry, ski and alpine guiding, and public forecasting centers. The course reviews 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 and team decisions.
PRO 2 courses run in close contact with different types of operations, including highway operations, agency forecasters, backcountry ice and ski guiding, and mechanized operations. Participants have the opportunity to gain real time experience watching how professionals manage risk in each context. AIARE PRO 2 courses bring in guest speakers, adding depth and diversity of experience to the course. These include backcountry forecasters, highway forecasters, researchers, and educators preeminent in their respective fields. PRO 2 courses focus on participants’ skills in application through classroom and field exercises.
In order to deliver this high level course, venues are chosen that meet the demands of the PRO 2 curriculum; this requires diversity in access to operations, terrain, snowpack, and logistics. In addition to the venue, course timing is crucial to successful delivery of the course. Courses must be scheduled with appropriate timing for participants to complete pre course writing and assignments. The timing of the course must align with the operations with which they are connected. This allows participants to experience these operations in real time. And, like any operation in the avalanche industry, course scheduling is subject to weather conditions.
In future winter seasons AIARE will be offering PRO 2 programs with Ski/Splitboard and Foot/Snowshoe Modes of Travel. Foot/Snowshoe AIARE PRO 2 Programs are designed to meet the pro training needs of avalanche professionals who manage avalanche hazard at work without significant travel on skis. These courses are designed to include alpine, ice, and expedition guides; avalanche educators teaching recreational avalanche courses to snowshoers and highways/DOT workers. Motorized PRO 2 Programs are in the works for the winter 19/20 season.
Some PRO 2 Programs are based in backcountry lodges (designated ‘Lodge Based’ in the Schedule, below. These programs include lodging and half board (breakfast and dinner) as part of the course cost.Prerequisites
Please make sure that you meet or exceed the following prerequisites prior to enrolling in the course:
- Course applicants have completed a PRO 1 or PRO 1 Bridge.
- Course applicants have completed an AIARE Avalanche Rescue course (or AAA recognized Rec Level 1 and Avalanche Rescue Fundamentals course) OR Equivalent.*
- A minimum of two winter seasons (totaling 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. It should also confirm the applicant’s experience leading small team (companion) avalanche rescue exercises and participation in a multi team organized rescue exercise.
* “Equivalent” must be documented by submitting the AIARE Rescue Assessment Checklist and a letter of reference. The goal of this requirement is for the applicant to have demonstrated that he or she can lead and coordinate a backcountry avalanche rescue that involves managing site safety, managing responders, and conducting a successful search and excavation in a multiple burial scenario. Each item on the checklist should be reviewed and initialed by the applicant’s work supervisor, and the attached letter of reference must include information (including dates and location of practice) attesting that the applicant has demonstrated each skill/step during workplace rescue response practices, and that her/his competency has been evaluated by a supervisor.
Course dates for the 2019-20 season will be available in late summer 2019.
To register for a course, please refer to the “application” section below.
The AIARE PRO 2 is designed for avalanche professionals who have applied operational experience.
Registration is a two-part process; you need to submit documents listed below to firstname.lastname@example.org, and register and pay for the course by clicking on the “register now” button below.
- A cover letter describing your professional goals.
- A resume showing the required work experience (a minimum of two winter seasons totaling 40 days or more) participating in daily operational practices that involve avalanche observation and mitigation. You can use this document to detail your experience.
- A letter (or letters) of reference from supervisor(s) supporting both work experience and participation in organized rescue exercises.
- Three days of operational hazard forecast forms (please include both AM and PM for each day).
- Three recent snow profiles in both notebook (table) and drafted form.
- Your PRO 1 Course Certificate (or PRO 1 Bridge Certificate).
- Your certificate for AIARE Avalanche Rescue course (or AAA recognized Avalanche Rescue Fundamentals course) OR Equivalent.*
- A completed and signed medical form. Download the PDF to your computer, fill it out, save it, and include it in your application email.
- In addition, on the first day of your course you will be asked to sign this acknowledgement of risk document.
Students are encouraged to make healthy, restful choices as they are planning personal logistics for this class. Budgeting for warm, dry, comfortable overnight accommodations is advised.
* “Equivalent” must be documented by submitting the AIARE Rescue Assessment Checklist and a letter of reference. The goal of this requirement is for the applicant to have demonstrated that he or she can lead and coordinate a backcountry avalanche rescue that involves managing site safety, managing responders, and conducting a successful search and excavation in a multiple burial scenario.Each item on the checklist should be reviewed and initialed by the applicant’s work supervisor, and the attached letter of reference must include information (including dates and location of practice) attesting that the applicant has demonstrated each skill/step during workplace rescue response practices, and that her/his competency has been evaluated by a supervisor.
Cancellation Policy: If you cancel your course registration for any reason within 40 days of the start date of the course, there is no refund. If you cancel your course registration 40 days or more before the start date of the course, you will receive a refund, less a $100 administrative fee. Course fees are non-transferable, and can not be applied to other AIARE courses or AIARE fees. If AIARE cancels the course for any reason, a full refund will be given.
The cancellation and refund policy goes into effect immediately upon being accepted into the course. This cancellation and refund policy pertains to all course participants. No exceptions to the policy can be made.
We strongly encourage you to purchase travel insurance (including medical and evacuation insurance) to cover the costs of cancellation fees, airfare, and other non-refundable expenses in the event that you need to cancel from the course, AIARE needs to cancel a course due to lack of snow or events beyond our control, or you are injured prior to or during the course.
Pre-Course Work and Assignments
The PRO 2 requires extensive written pre-course work, technical writing, and oral presentations.
In addition to the documents required for enrollment, students must also complete Pre-Course assignments before attending the PRO 2 Course. Please send in your assignments to your instructors via email at least one week before the first day of the course.
- Two snow profiles from the current season that include at least one compression test, ECT and PST
- Two completed Hazard and Risk Operational forms from the current winter. The forms should illustrate daily participation, local observations, and the process of avalanche risk management including the following hazard and risk factors: weather, snow, and avalanche observations; and a summary of the avalanche problem and forecast danger. The operational form should also include a risk reduction or control plan.
Pre Course Written/Oral 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 a minimum of one week before the first day of the course for a percentage of the course grade.
The Kizaki-Wolf AIARE Scholarship supports outstanding outdoor professionals in furthering their avalanche education and teaching skills. This scholarship provides full or partial tuition for an Instructor Training Course, Course Leader Training Course or PRO 1 or PRO 2 course
Goals and Objectives
The course goals are 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.
Student Learning Objectives:
- 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 relevance 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.
Course assessment principles adhere to those described in the American Avalanche Association (AAA) Professional Avalanche Training Guidelines and Proficiencies for the PRO 2 Course. A course grade of 70% is required to pass.
Category 1: Technical Skills and Knowledge
This category will include evaluation via the following written exercises and/or oral presentations:
- Storm Profile
- Issuing an Avalanche Forecast
- Written Exam
- Written Technical Report
Category 2: Avalanche Hazard and Risk Assessment
This category will include evaluation via the following written exercises, group exercises, terrain travel exercises, and student contributions to the course:
- Avalanche Mapping Project
- Operational Exercise
- Terrain Use and Decision Making