Aimed at backcountry skiers, climbers and winter hill walkers. It provides a solid platform of learning for those who regularly ski off piste in the Alps & Scottish mountains.
The course consists on approx. 22 hours contact time, the majority in the mountains. It provides a highly suitable introduction to snow science for those preparing to take the winter ML assessment. The course follows and exceeds the A3 curriculum guidelines. No formal prerequisites are required to attend this course. The Alps course is run over 3 days, whilst the Scottish version runs over a weekend and is supplemented with a Friday evening session, online case studies and pre-reads. This course runs on ski touring or split boarding equipment.
The course covers the following subjects:
- Avalanche problem types and anatomy. Basic slab mechanics. Terrain evaluation and route selection
- Mountain snowpack development leading to instability or stability
- Travel protocols & group communication
- Introduction to snow pits: their value & limitations
- Formal and informal stability tests: Compression test & Extended Column Test. Where & when to use them
- Introduction to snowpit diagrams with hand hardness profiles, basic grain type symbols
- Introduction to human factors and systematic decision tools
- Avalanche bulletins & their interpretation
- Companion rescue including scene size up, organisation, probing, shovelling. Addressing common mistakes in avalanche rescue
- Single transceiver search techniques, including one to one coaching
- Single burial rescue scenario’s & intro to multiple burial techniques