Avalanche

Covid-19-related Operational Changes

The governor of California has put in place a stay at home order for residents. (Learn more) SMC complies with any closure orders, so regrettably we are not able to operate in-the-field (in person) programs until the orders are lifted or changed. This applies to all ski, backpacking and climbing programs. Locally, the Inyo and Mono County Health Departments are asking that visitors from outside of the county refrain from visiting and instead stay very close to home, wear masks, and limit contacts. SMC Avalanche Courses Avalanche courses have been very popular this winter and most courses are full. We are asking people who registered for field programs before Christmas [...]

By |2020-12-08T13:21:38-08:00December 8th, 2020|Avalanche, SMC Blog|

Sierra Mountain Center Avi Presentation Followup

Greeting to all Avalanche students, those who did the online program, and those who wanted to but couldn’t. Here we are at the beginning of May and while restrictions are starting to loosen up, it seems as if the snow will melt a lot before we can get back into the mountains and do the field work as we had hoped. The plan was to use the Tioga Pass area, but the road is not open yet. So, it looks as if that will have to wait until next winter. But we will get it done. We have lists of everyone who did the online session and that will count [...]

By |2020-05-14T14:03:35-07:00May 5th, 2020|Avalanche, Backcountry Skiing|

What We Want You To Learn  On An Avalanche Course

The New York Times recently published an article by Heidi Julavits entitled “What I Learned in Avalanche School.” The article provides valuable insights that could help avalanche educators better teach skills for safe enjoyment of the mountain world. As educators it is often difficult for us to have clear insight into what preconceptions students bring, and what skills and knowledge they hope to gain. The history, bias, fear, and prejudices which participants carry to avalanche programs further muddle the curriculum and goal. Julavits was frightened and thus, did not have the desired takeaway we would have hoped. The purpose of avalanche education is not fear, but respect. Educators’ end goal [...]

By |2020-09-26T09:44:47-07:00March 4th, 2020|Avalanche, Backcountry Skiing|