07 November 2006

Avalanche Awareness

Tonight was the first of 3 in-class sessions for the Level 1 Avalanche Training course for the ski patrol, and I have to say it was a pretty good primer. Gave us lots to think about. I don't do any backcountry skiing anymore, and even when I did the limits of that were skiing the Back Bowls at Smugglers and the occasional trip to Mansfield to ski off the 'chin'. Oh, and a couple trips to Tuckerman Ravine. Anyway, I'd been sticking to the in-bounds stuff primarily due to the fact that I didn't know the area well and didn't have any ski buddies who'd go anyway. So, I'm obviously very inexperienced in that regard.

I could probably still smoke most folks in a race course, though.

Tonight's class got me thinking about developing that skill set. And I learned that a little knowledge can be dangerous, so it'll have to be baby-steps. I want to become a better powder skier. I want to make fresh tracks. But I want to survive the experience and hopefully avoid even seeing a slide, much less being in one. Staying mindful of what I picked up tonight and even more so of the things I will continue to learn will obviously be a big help.

What's a little weird is that we'll have to wait until February to finish the classroom sessions, and then do the field work on the hill in March. Seems like an awful long break. Maybe it'll go by faster once sled training starts up. Think snow!