Avalanche Awareness Course 2/3/14

Yesterday Dan & Paul joined me for a 1 day avalanche awareness course and intro to back-country skiing. While not an official offering from our course programs we are always happy to customize a day for someone. The crux here though is realizing there is only so much info and practical application you can squeeze into an 8 hour day. However we did cover quite a lot of ground, metaphorically speaking, when it came to basic avalanche awareness. The 2 hour skin up to Hermit Lake was filled with chats about snow climates, basic snowpack metamorphism, and types & characteristics of avalanches. When we reached the bowl we poked around in the snow under the Sluice and found some of the layers I had posted this video about the day before:

After finishing our observations we got a nice run back to the floor of the ravine before hiking down to Hermit Lake and skiing the Sherburne Ski trail back to Pinkham.

EMS Schools Avalanche Course

Dan eyeing his line from our high point

EMS Schools Avalanche Course



EMS Schools Avalanche Course

Our Descent

We finished the day with a 1 hour companion rescue introduction at Pinkham, and Dan & Paul left with quite the appetite for more information. As Dan commented “Today has really shown me how much I don’t know”. That’s good to hear, and I expect to see both of them back for a formal AIARE 1 Course in the future!

To see what courses still have spots available please go here:


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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