Avalanche Refresher

Has it been a year or more since you did an avalanche course? Is it the beginning of the season and you are trying to recall all of those Red Flags that you learned and forgot during the warm summer? The route finding skills feeling a little rusty and before heading out with your friends you want to reassure yourself that you are on the right page and still able to make good decisions in the backcountry?
We know how it is at the beginning of the season, so we offer this one-day course to brush up on your skills and get a quick primer on where the current thoughts in avalanche education are.
This course is not at all a substitute for a full length Level I course and we assume that you have had prior exposure to avalanche training.

Location

The course is held on-snow in the Bishop or Mammoth areas. We want ready access to the best snow and conditions so we will make our decision of where to go as the course time draws close. We also want to see if we can get you somewhere you have not been before so we will be quizzing students as to their past experience. We will facilitate car pool to the snow but you should make sure your vehicle is prepared for winter travel.

Notes

The AAA and AIARE suggest a maximum ratio of 1 instructor: 6 participants for the field sessions.

Lodging is not included.

If you want more information on what to look for in an avalanche course we suggest looking at the AIARE website.

CHANGES STARTING IN THE WINTER OF  2017-18

Avalanche education has undergone many changes over the years and 2017/2018 sees significant changes coming from the American Avalanche Association and AIARE.  The overall change is splitting programs into a Recreational track and a Professional track.
For Recreationalists: There will be an AIARE Recreational Level 1, similar to previous AIARE I, and an AIARE Recreational Level 2 course that will build from and add to the Level 1 course but also cater to a recreationalist’s needs. There will also be a stand alone Avalanche Rescue Course.
For Professionals: If you’re an aspiring professional- patroller, guide, avalanche educator or forecaster, there will be a specific track for you. You’ll start with the AIARE Recreational Level 1, then continue with the Professional Level 1 followed by a Professional Level 2 and/or, a Professional Avalanche Search and Rescue.
If you are a current AIARE II holder: You’ll be able to take an assessment to upgrade to a Professional Level 1 certificate. That opportunity will most likely only exist for 2 seasons. If you do not take the assessment then the original certification will be just that, an original AIARE II but not a Professional Level 1 or a Professional Level 2.
For current AIARE 3 holders: If you obtained an AIARE 3 certificate in the past your certification will meet or exceed the qualifications of the Professional Level 2.

 

This program is conducted in the field rather than in the classroom, but we will take time to run over our data classes and review the red flags in each. We will dig a pit or two and take a look at what is happening in the snowpack and talk about route selection and safe travel choices. We will do a quick beacon practice and finish up the day with a discussion of the human factors and how it is that even after training we can make poor choices and remind ourselves to keep our desires in check and tempered by prudence.

We will dig a pit or two and take a look at what is happening in the snowpack and talk about route selection and safe travel choices. During the course we review the following topics.

• Changes in the Level I curriculum

• Trip planning

• Route selection and travel protocols

• Pit digging, snow pack data and bonding tests in the pit

• Summary of stability findings

• Changes to the danger scale

• A review of companion rescue

• We will finish up the day with a discussion of the human factors and how it is that even after training we can make poor choices and remind ourselves to keep our desires in check and tempered by prudence.

 

Program Prerequisites:

A previous Level I or equivalent course that conforms to AIARE standards. We will be using AIARE terminology in our instruction and while this is not a USA standard we expect student to be familiar with the terms. You need to know the basics of safe travel techniques and avalanche rescue.

Program Inclusions:

Price includes instruction and loan of avalanche beacons, shovels, and probes. Local accommodation is not included.

Details, Itinerary, and Equipment List:

Details, itinerary, and equipment list