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Postby cvd » Sun Jan 25, 2009 10:39 pm

It was an awesome class! Learned a ton. Next step is to do a backcountry trip to put some of the new knowledge to use. When's Meiss Hut?
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Postby Dodrill » Mon Jan 26, 2009 10:11 am



It was a stormy weekend at Pinecrest Lake when Chisholm, CVD and I arrived to take the Avalanche Level 1 training course with the Pinecrest Nordic Ski Patrol. We had each been wanting to take this course for quite a while and only just now got around to making it happen. I should have taken the class long ago, and now shirk at the thought of what I’ve gotten away with in the mountains over the years.

The course was held at the Pinecrest Community Center and was a good deal at just $65. We had been given a reading assignment, the book “Snow Sense,” and an eight page pre-test to fill out in advance. The first half day of class covered basics like avalanche terminology, potential, assessment and avoidance, and principles of rescue.

We saw plenty of powerpoint slides of graphs, statistics, lists, and all kinds of photos and graphics detailing the physics of avalanches as well as incident analysis.

Finally, we learned about Beacons and how to do a beacon search, then went to the field to practice. The Patrollers were great and set up a bunch of scenarios for us.

After dinner we watched some videos about different avi incidents which were both sad and highly educational.

Sunday morning we headed straight to the field and learned all about snow pit analysis and block tests then set off in teams to dig our own pits and conduct tests. This was pretty insightful and confirmed that the current sierra snowpack is pretty damn safe at about 7,000.’ We did a bunch more search scenarios with beacons and a probe line search, something I hope we never have to actually perform.

Anyhow, It was a great class and I can’t wait to get out to the backcountry soon.

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Postby Sam Mills » Mon Jan 26, 2009 5:27 pm

Cool!! I already had family stuff planned or I would have joined you guys.

Thanks for the update.

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