The big news for the JHSC Backcountry Programs this month is the Mini Mountaineers team. They are up and running and have really impressed the coaches. Everyone has been showing awesome commitment to get through the learning curve. If you have ever tried it, you know that backcountry skiing is not an easy sport to pick up.
By their third practice the team reached a goal of making it to the top of Snow King... very well done! They have used these snow king sessions to perfect their backcountry skiing transitions and dealing with the gear. This really paid off on their first full touring day at Phillips Canyon. The day was a big hit, everyone skied multiple laps in the amazing powder, and even had time to build a snow cave!
The 4 month program is still crushing it as usual. The longer days have allowed the team to break into some deeper and more involved backcountry skiing topics at our Thursday sessions. Basic first aid has been covered, and ropes were introduced during one session where we focused on knots and hitches. Some of the knots we went over were: overhand on a bight, butterfly, and bowline. We also covered the clove hitch and a munter. These knots and hitches are the base lines for ski mountaineering skills. To put some of the tools into action we even practiced lowering one skier on a munter. If you are reading this and have no idea what I am talking about... that is ok! Come check it out at practice or better yet, ask one of our athletes to show you! We are excited to keep moving forward with the rope skills and discuss rappelling, cravasse rescue, and glacier travel to name a few.
As many skiers are, we are very thankful for the February full of powder and excited to see what March brings!