Well that’s it! Today concluded the last avalanche course of the season. Without a doubt this has been the best year we’ve had for avalanche courses as Mother Nature has provided right up to the end! Later this week I’ll post a summary of the season, but for now I want to share the details from this past weekend’s course. We started the course as usual at the Highland Center and had a typical morning classroom session followed by afternoon outdoor Companion Rescue.
After some morning classroom on Day 2 we headed to the western side of Mount Washington to skin up the Cog. The snowpack down low had converted to full on Spring concrete, but we knew there were still some layers to look at up high.
We found a small test slope on the Burt Ravine side of the tracks and dig a little digging while learning about layer identification, hand hardness, and tilt & compression tests.
Today we met at Pinkham Notch Visitor Center and after obtaining the day’s bulletin we headed up Tuckerman Ravine. While raining we we arrived at PNVC it turned into a great day up higher.
We ran into Jeff Lane, one of the USFS Snow Rangers who gave us some additional info which later turned up helpful to our Tour Plan
One of the students points out roller balls that came down Hillman’s Highway and small wet loose snow avalanches that had recently occurred in the Lower Snowfields.
After some discussion we continued up to the floor of the Ravine, and decided to head towards Left Gully. We spaced out across the main runout, as the rating for the day was “Considerable”.
Poking around in the snow there revealed some buried grauple, pencil slab over 1F, CTM & CTH results 30cm and 60cm down with mostly Q2 and Q3 results. We scored a RB7 as well. I’ll post a field book page later when I get a chance to take a better shot of it.
After finishing our observations we skinned up to the mouth of Left Gully and got a quick short run in before dropping the Little Headwall and returning to PNVC to review the day and close the course.
I can’t thank the 11 participants enough for being so engaged through-out the 24-hour course. As silly as it sounds, I have to thank MN for providing such great conditions for every single field session we had this year. Exact numbers will come in my recap later this week, but I’m fairly certain we had over 120 people come through our 3 Day AIARE 1 program this year! Every single feedback form is being considered and I’m excited about making some changes to next year’s courses based on my experience this winter and all of your feedback. More to come in my re-cap, but for now I’m going to dry out and organize my back-country ski gear. What a great winter that was!
See you on the mountain!