With a 15″ snowfall not too far in the past, a forecast for clear skies, and a snowpack of questionable stability, all the ingredients were in place for a fun and educational avalanche course. Grant, Nate, and Jim, three experienced telemark skiers from Grand Junction, were excited and eager to learn avalanche awareness skills during the 3-day level one avalanche course last weekend, January 1-3, 2010. Our course included a mix of classroom sessions and practical field time, with an emphasis on applying the information to actual decision making in the backcountry. I have always felt that hands-on application of skills and techniques is important for retaining information and really grasping concepts.
As we learned during the course, it’s important to plan for your trip ahead of time so you can anticipate what equipment to bring, how much time you’ll need, and to carefully select terrain that is suitable for safe travel and good skiing. Below is a photo of Grant and Jim making a tour plan for one of our backcountry tours.