The Avalanche team is attempting to work within our winter schedule. If you have not noticed, we have lost a week or two at the end of our season. The snowpack is not as deep as it once was. We also have an increasing population heading into the backcountry, and our programs require more avalanche training.
So, our team is trying something new – a mid-week program at Smugglers’ Notch. We have no idea if this will work for our members, but we have had several requests for it. So you asked, and we are delivering.
We will also be running a Level 2 Avalanche program this year. It has been too long. We are organizing an amazing lineup of instructors and guest speakers. This Level 2 program is required for our Avalanche instructor candidates. I expect this class will fill up fast.
We are delivering an amazing product at a low cost to our users. We will be A3 certified for our Level 1 class, again helping our students by providing a long-term path for future training. We have elected not to become A3 certified for our Level 2 course as this is not on a critical path for our students. It appears that our Level 2 far exceeds the typical recreational Level 2. In fact, our Level 2 is a prep class for Pro Level 1 classes.
I just got back from the Eastern Snow Avalanche Workshop and again was reminded how amazing our program and team are, but I did see some numbers that suggest that East Coast skiers are potentially heading into avalanche terrain with less education and preparation than our Western skiers.
So please, if you are heading into avalanche terrain, get the education and equipment you need. But more importantly, it’s critically important that you have partners that are ready to dig you out. This is where we are lacking on the east coast. We often have one person with the equipment and training, but other party members do not.
If you want to learn more about skiing in avalanche country, sign up for our course at Smugglers’ Notch. For more information, contact David Childs, Eastern Division Avalanche Supervisor, at 413-464-1044.
For more information about the Avalanche course at Smugglers’ Notch, one of four Avalanche courses currently scheduled around the Eastern Division, visit Patroller School and look for the Avalanche Events tile.
Think snow and loads of it!