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 has devoted his entire adult life to climbing - pushing his grade on recreational objectives and working as a professional mountain guide. After a stint in the United States Marine Corp, he was hired as a rock and ice instructor and since has expanded his repertoire to include alpine, skiing and avalanche education. David is an aspirant Rock Guide through the American Mountain Guide Association [AMGA], an American Institute for Avalanche Awareness and Education [AIARE] Course Leader, holds a Wilderness First Responder [WFR] and is a volunteer member of Mountain Rescue Service [MRS] and Androscoggin Valley Search and Rescue [AVSAR]. In his free time, you will find David blogging, mountain biking, kayaking, hiking, skiing, sharing micro-brews with friends or in the kitchen working on a new recipe in his home town of Conway, New Hampshire. He resides there with his wife, Michelle, his son, Alex and daughter, Madalena.
This entry was posted in Avalanche Courses, Backcountry Skiing and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to First Avalanche Course of the season

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

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