AIARE Avalanche Course 1-6-17 to 1-8-17

Here we go! While some providers have run a couple courses already we just completed our very first one of the season yesterday and it was epic! A new venue, classroom tech, on-site lodging, awesome students, and great snow all led to a fantastic 3 days!

Having a professional photographer along for our Ski Tour was also a nice bonus. Here’s a quick recap and some info on how Northeast Mountaineering is diving head first into the field of avalanche education!

First, our new classroom space!

Avalanche Course
Our cozy classroom

Our classroom sessions were held in “The Bunkhouse” living area in Bartlett, NH. This was extremely convenient for the students as 2 nights of lodging are included in the course tuition. All seven participants stayed in the bunkhouse which led to a pretty immersive course and some new friendships and touring partners.

Another big classroom change is the use of iPads pre-loaded with the AIARE Student Manual. The “Notability” app allows custom note-taking and the ability to email yourself the manual with notes throughout the course. I’ll be adding some CalTopo style mapping options on them to help with our trip planning sessions. For those who prefer a paper copy of the manual we do have them for sale with a portion of the proceeds going to non-profit conservation groups! Hats off to NEM co-owner Brett Fitzgerald for spearheading this unique initiative!

After two days of mixing up classroom and field exercises we headed up into Tuckerman Ravine for a ski tour designed to re-enforce the knowledge and skills we had gained the days prior.

Avalanche Course
Trail-head Beacon Function Check
Avalanche Course
A student sees something in the ravine
Avalanche Course
After the steeper section of the ravine approach
Avalanche Course
Skinning up towards Right Gully
Avalanche Course
Following the skin-track and learning how to kick turn
Avalanche Course
Investigating the melt-freeze crusts and faceted layers 30-40cm down
Avalanche Course
CTE Q2 SC (easy to collapse) but ECTN7 (not so easy to propagate)
Avalanche Course
A student checks out some of the facets that have been forming from our prolonged cold temps and high gradients
Avalanche Course
Getting ready to drop from our pit location on my new DPS Wailer 112PRC skis!

A bit of GoPro footage from the day

Avalanche Course
And a fun run down the Sherburne ski trail
Avalanche Course
Group shot after our course debrief at the Bunkhouse

A huge thank you to the first seven students of my 2017 avalanche course season! Each one of you brought something to the course with your engaging questions, camaraderie, early morning shenanigans, and cold weather endurance.

Our next course starts Friday but is sold out. We have a few more spots left in our Jan 20th course. We are also working hard at bringing on another course instructor so we may be able to open more seats soon. If you want to get into a course this season with me check the dates here:

http://www.nemountaineering.com/courses/avalanche/

Use promo code “DavidNEM” when you reserve for a chance to win a free guided day.

See you in the mountains!

Northeast Alpine Start

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