January has been avalanche awareness month for the backcountry program! Athletes have completed there recreational level one avalanche certification through the American Avalanche Institute. Typically those who sign up for an avalanche class have a ton of information packed into a two and a half day course. They learn the info, and go upon their ski season. The 4-month backcountry program has worked with AAI to structure a different type of course more suitable for teenage skiers. We teamed up with AAI instructor Aaron Diamond to deliver two after school and two full field day sessions spread throughout the month of January. The athletes covered topics such as route finding and terrain assessment, rescue fundamentals, and snowpit tests. Check out the photos below for a look at what we covered:
Above: Charlie Kilgrow discusses open, closed, and stand by terrain for a pre trip plan on the south side of JHMR
Above: Max Mercury does a timed beacon search drill
Above: Noah and Max discover weak layers in the snow pack at Teton Pass
Above: The team enjoys some powder after class
For the rest of the season athletes will continue to hone in their skills learned in the Avi 1. Everyone on the team is excited to use these tools to be more of a part of the decision making process while in the backcountry!