Courses

We offer a comprehensive set of avalanche related courses:

 

Introduction to Avalanches Course

IMG_1930This course is aimed as in introduction course to those venturing into the Scottish winter hills for recreation and provides an introduction to safely travelling in avalanche terrain. The course consists of 7 hours contact time all of which is conducted within the field in the Scottish Highlands and takes the form of a ski tour or winter walk. The course follows the AAA curriculum guidelines.

It provides a brief introduction to recognizing & avoiding obvious avalanche hazards and how to understand and apply current avalanche advisory.

It also covers avalanche statistics and human factors • Avalanche terminology
• Avalanche terrain
• Snow pack and weather factors• Obvious clues and red flags
• Trip Planning and Preparation • Avalanche bulletins
• Simple decision tools (ALP TRUTh, Avulator etc.)
•Travel protocols.

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 Avalanche Rescue Module – Duration 1 day

IMG_0097This is a practical avalanche rescue course and consists of approx. 8 hours contact time and covers both class room and field inputs, with emphasis on coaching rescue skills. It’s core curriculum content focuses upon companion rescue within a ski group, including avalanche scene rescue management and repeatedly practicing realistic multiple burial scenarios. Students are coached on advanced transceiver use, deep burials, multiple burials, tactical digging, victim patient care and identifying additional resources such as Search & Rescue. This is the full one day input that is now incorporated into our advanced Level 2 course but is also available as a stand alone course. It provides perfect refresher training for anyone venturing into the backcountry and is a must for all mountain professionals. The course follows the AAA curriculum guidelines. There is no requirement for ski touring equipment or experience on this course.

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Level  1: Avalanche Fundamentals

Silvretta-51-2This course is aimed at keen backcountry skiers, climbers and winter hill walkers. It provides a solid platform of learning for those who spend much of their winter in the Scottish mountains or further afield.

The course consists on approx. 22 hours contact time, the majority in the field. It would provide a highly suitable introduction to snow science for those preparing to take the winter ML assessment, it being the first required course for all winter mountain professionals in North America. The course follows the AAA curriculum guidelines. No formal prerequisites are required to attend this course, however it is recommended that students possess winter travel and first aid skills and study our recommended interactive web based scenario pre –reading.

The course covers the following subjects:

Avalanche types and anatomy. Basic slab mechanics. Terrain evaluation and route selection
• Travel protocols & group communication. Mountain snowpack development leading to instability or stability
• Field observations, tests and judging instability
• Use of avalanche & snow pit tools: inclinometer, compass, probe, saw
 etc• Introduction to elementary pit diagrams with hand hardness profiles, basic grain type symbols and stability tests. Avalanche & snow climates. Human factors and systematic decision tools • The application & limitations of decision tools. Avalanche bulletins & their interpretation.

Rescue: – Companion rescue including scene size up, organisation, beacon use, probing, shovelling, common mistakes in avalanche rescue. Single beacon search techniques; including one to one coaching. The role of first aid and emergency response in avalanche rescues. Single burial rescue scenario’s.

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Level 2: Avalanche Processes and Leadership (AvRec2)

Avalanche Avalanche courses avalanche geeksThis course is designed as the continuation course from the Level 1 for backcountry leaders and professionals, as well as high performing winter athletes and recreationalists desiring greater skills and knowledge. The course requires 32 hours contact time over 3.5 days and is split between morning and evening classroom sessions and afternoon hill sessions that take the form of a ski tour. All participants should possess and be competent on ski touring equipment. This is an advanced course and it is a pre-requirement that participants have completed a Level 1 course or work in a winter mountain environment and have knowledge of avalanche fundamentals. The course follows the AAA curriculum guidelines.

Click here for a review of our Level 2 course from March 2016 Trek & Mountain magazine: Level 2 Review

The course covers the following subjects:

Tour Planning: Weather and snowpack history
. Trip considerations (abilities, goals, constraints)
. Decision tool review. Applied map skills (slope angle, alpha angle, route planning, decision points)

Processes: Metamorphism (FC, SH, DH, MF) and instability. Skier triggering, avalanche release and assessing instability. Spatial variability.

Observations and Forecasts: snowpack, weather, and terrain. Introduction to avalanche data recording. Stability assessment. Decision making traps and group dynamics.

Field Tours: Route selection. Travel protocols, group management and communication. Stability assessment via observations and test results. Test profiles (pit), and non standard snowpack evaluation: pole test, ski test, hand shears, through to Column Tests and Extended Column Tests (ECT).

Companion Rescue: This course fully incorporates the 1 day AAA syllabus Rescue Module. Advanced beacon one to one coaching. Group rescue leadership. Multiple burial practice scenarios. Probing, shovelling strategies, Recovery of victims not wearing beacons. Common mistakes in avalanche rescue. Multiple victim beacon search strategies & techniques. The role of relevant medical assistance and emergency response in avalanche incidents. Reverse triage.

 

 

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Mountaineering 4 Skiers (Scotland based)

Introduction to ski touring intro ski course avalanche course Run in conjunction with Di Gilbert Mountaineering this course is specifically aimed at ski tourers who wish to take their sport to the next level but lack the technical knowledge to match their skiing ability.  We spend two full on days in the mountain environment sniffing out the best snow and the best descents with a focus on exploring steep ground.  This is not a technical ski performance course where we break down your ski technique. This is a course with emphasis on the technical aspects of ski mountaineering such as abseiling and uphill roped travel on steep ground, belayed skiing techniques, using ice axe & crampons, refining kick turn technique, whiteout navigation strategies on ski’s, an advanced companion rescue workshop and of course in the field avalanche education.

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Alpine Preparation

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Making the jump from ski touring in Scotland to the Alps can be a big jump, the mountains are bigger, there is more snow and there are glaciers to be skied. This one or two day course is designed to cover the key skills of glacier travel, crevasse rescue, tour selection and dealing with alpine considerations like mountain huts, avalanche and weather forecasts.

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