Aimed at 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 mountains. It would provide a highly suitable introduction to snow science for those preparing to take the winter ML assessment. The course follows the AAA curriculum guidelines. No formal prerequisites are required to attend this course. The Alps version of the two is run over 3 days, whilst the Scottish version runs over a weekend and is supplemented with online case studies and pre-reads.
The course covers the following subjects:
- Avalanche problem 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: including stability test types etc
- Introduction to elementary pit diagrams with hand hardness profiles, basic grain type symbols and stability tests. 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.