Big thanks to Backcountry Access for sponsoring this avalanche education content. Check out the additional plethora of avalanche safety resources on their website.
Just finished my first day of my level 2 avalanche course, put on by Crested Butte Mountain Guides. It was a terrific first day, and I learned quite a bit. The instructors, Jayson and Mike, seemed super knowledgeable, and the class is nice and small, with a bunch of people who seem motivated to learn more about avalanche safety for backcountry skiing and other mountain sports. Today we spent most of the day in the classroom, tomorrow we’ll head out for hands-on field work.
Today we quickly reviewed what we learned in Level 1, then dived into mountain weather, and did some practice using beacons for deep and multiple burials. It was great to learn more about how to look at the various weather resources on the web and relate that to the avalanche danger. Living a ways from the mountains, and only visiting them on weekends, it’s sometimes hard to find the areas that have good, safe skiing. I’m hoping to do a better job of keeping my eye on the weather throughout the week, and spending some more time cruising around the NOAA website, past the basic weather forecast.
We also did some work on the “probing on a line” method of doing a beacon search. I’ve always been taught to just use the basic fine beacon search to figure out where to probe for a victim, but this method seems like it’s faster, and eliminates some of the problems associated with deep burials.