An Integrated Course:
LEVEL 2 AVALANCHE for Rescue Personnel
with emphases on:
pre-course preparation, backcountry travel, hands-on practice, and rescue

This course is designed for the motivated student willing to commit to significant pre-course study and preparation. The goal is to utilize the inherently limited in-person time only for those learning opportunities that are not available through published educational resources.  The course also requires gear for backcountry skiing and overnight stays, an accompanying fitness level for sustained travel with a loaded overnight pack, and the ability to live in backcountry conditions for a three-day/two-night hut-based trip. 

All of this is toward fulfillment of the official NSP description for an MTR2 course:
"Mountain Travel and Rescue Level 2 is designed as a follow-up course to MTR F and/or MTR 1. This course provides more in-depth training and field work in land navigation, search and rescue, rope rescue, improvised toboggan construction, survival skills, and emergency shelter construction that students can utilize during the length of the course."
. . . and toward fulfillment of the official NSP description for a Level 2 avalanche course:
"This course covers advanced knowledge and techniques for hazard assessment and route selection, introduces avalanche hazard forecasting and mitigation strategies, and develops organized rescue management and leadership, including strategies for travel to an incident site and conducting both an immediate search and extended operations. It also includes incident/rescue documentation and development of avalanche emergency response plans."
More specifically, this course will build upon the skills from the Western Mass MTR1 course in the following ways:
  • The addition of another day and night spent consecutively in the field with further test the ability to live in backcountry conditions.
  • GPS-based navigation skills will be introduced.
  • The course will take place during winter weather conditions and will include practice of backcountry skiing skills, avalanche rescue, and climbing gear.
  • The ropework extrication exercise will include a 6:1 mechanical advantage system (in addition to MTR1's 3:1 system).
  • An on-your-own overnight in a snow shelter is required.
  • An on-your own emergency sled construction and extrication is required (and will also be practiced during the course).
The course will build upon the skills from the Level 1 avalanche course by introducing more advanced snow science knowledge and by requiring students to conduct their own field recordings (i.e., weather observations and snowpit work).  The field sessions will be held in more advanced terrain, and the avalanche rescue scenarios will be more complete, as they will be integrated into the MTR scenarios.  (Alternatively, here is an MTR2 course that does not include any advanced avalanche training.)