HUT BASED LEVEL 2: Analyzing Snow Stability and Avalanche Hazard

Three Sisters Backcountry offers AIARE Avalanche Courses in a hut based format at Tam McArthur Rim outside Sisters, Oregon. With varied terrain, elevations and aspects, the avalanche conditions can range from simple to complex.

We have moved away from the standard 8-hour a day courses to exclusively offer a full immersion hut-based backcountry experience. This allows us more time to conduct our lessons out in the snow. Less Powerpoint, more time on skis. This is the best way to learn… and the most fun!

Course Standards:

Registration is open for 2016/2017 season!

This course is designed for the avid recreational skier and/or the aspiring professional.   We offer a 4-day hut based program based out of our Yurts at Three Creeks Lake.  If our course has an emphasis, it would be on ski touring.  Other Level 2’s are held in classrooms and have town days.  Our course is 100% in the backcountry and that is our focus.

                                    Maps and Locations

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Reservation Form

  • AIARE 1 Review
  • Energy balance, the mountain snowpack and metamorphism
  • Faceting; near surface and near crust faceting
  • Formation of surface hoar and persistent weak layers
  • Skier Triggering: theory and observations
  • International and national snow, weather and avalanche observation and recording guidelines (SWAG).
  • Weather; interpreting forecasts, recording and observation techniques
  • Snow profile techniques and bonding tests
  • Avalanche observations and recording techniques
  • Stability analysis checklist: reviewing critical factors
  • Stability ratings
  • Daily stability forecasts and analysis
  • Trip Planning and hazard forecasting for avalanche terrain
  • The avalanche danger ratings
  • Terrain analysis using maps/photos
  • Forecasting stability and variability
  • Terrain selection and route finding
  • Group management and hazard management
  • Decision making
  • Human factors
  • Information gathering
  • Site selection and relevancy
  • Spatial variability
  • Slope tests
  • Companion Rescue
  • AIARE 1 techniques review
  • Multiple burial
  • Shovel techniques
  • An AIARE 1 Course (strongly recommended) or equivalent training/experience is required.
  • A winter of practical experience after completing your Level 1 course is required before taking the AIARE 2 course.
  • Not sure if this course is right for you? Contact us and we’ll help you decide base upon your experience.
  • You must have the ability to travel in winter backcountry terrain.
  • Telemark, Alpine Touring Skis or Split Snowboard with skins are the preferred equipment.
  • Snowshoes will work, too.

We provide topo maps at the Huts for you to plan your daily adventures.

Use this map for driving directions to our Field Office:
Field Office Location Map

Use this map to begin exploring the terrain around the huts:
Tam Rim Huts Location Map

  • Hut Based Level II Jan 29- Feb 1, 2017  FULL 
  • Reservations are first come first served
  • Book up to one year in advance
  • 50% deposit due to hold your reservation; balance due 2 weeks prior to start
  • There are no refunds for cancellations, including for poor weather or injury.
  • If you are concerned you might need to cancel, please purchase travel insurance. Some of our clients have successfully used

Tuition includes:

  • 3 nights lodging and 4 days at the huts!
  • Course Instruction & TextsSnowmobile roundtrip portage.
  • Snowmobile transportation will not be available during the course (except for emergencies) so please plan on spending three continuous days in the backcountry.

Participants must provide their own meals. The hut is equipped with a full kitchen.

Cost: $650 per student