First Avalanche Course of the season

With great anticipation the 1st avalanche course of the season has come and gone. We had a full course with 12 participants with various backgrounds in skiing, mountaineering, and ice climbing. Despite a slow start to the season and the forecasted areas on Mount Washington being under a “General Advisory” we were able to move through some interesting terrain and see signs of recent loose snow surface slides.

Ascending to the floor of Tuckerman Ravine

Someone drop a contact?

A quick hand shear test looking for potential slab...

Traversing one at a time under “The Chute"

Checking out some wet layers near Left Gully

There’s been some cool changes to the curriculum of the AIARE Level 1 Course this season. The “Avalanche’s and Obs” checklist is a great new addition. Any former students are welcome to contact me so I can show you this new tool, it’s in all the new field books. A handy communication checklist helps the group dialogue flow.

Last year saw 9 reported avalanches involving 19 skiers, snowboarders, or technical climbers on or near Mount Washington, including one near fatality. If you haven’t taken an avalanche course yet, or it’s been a few years and you’re in need of a refresher, visit for dates and info to sign up. The first course was filled far in advance, so don’t delay, space is limited.

About David Lottmann

David grew up skiing in the Whites and started climbing at a summer camp just north of Mt. Washington when he was 16. Those first couple of years solidified climbing as a lifetime passion. From 1996-2000 he served in the USMC, and spent the better part of those years traveling the globe (18 countries). After returning to civilian life he moved to North Conway to focus on climbing and was hired in 2004 as a Rock and Ice Instructor. Since then Dave has taken numerous AMGA courses, most recently attaining a Single Pitch Instructor. He has completed a Level 3 AIARE avalanche course, is a Level 2 Course Leader, holds a valid Wilderness First Responder and is a member of Mountain Rescue Service. When David isn't out guiding he enjoys mountain biking, kayaking, hiking, backcountry skiing, trying to cook something new once a week and sampling new micro-brews. He lives in Conway, NH with his wife Michelle, son Alex, and daughter Madalena.
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One Response to First Avalanche Course of the season

  1. Pingback: Ice Climbing Fast Track | David Lottmann's Guiding Blog

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