Sweeney and I often talk about how little you see of the education side of mountain travel. Snow science and avalanche assessments are not the coolest content to be cramming into three minute clips of slaying lines or getting lost in powder. Nevertheless last season I began to realize the importance of avalanche education. This season I set myself down the path of learning about it, culminating in the completion of an Avy Level 1 NSP course , a course which Rob and Sweeney took last year.
There are a number of courses, yes, even on the East Coast, that offer instruction and in the field learning, and I can say I definitely learned great deal during the final portion of the course three weeks ago. The course itself was a fair bit of work, requiring more effort than many of my college courses, though well worth it. Our instructors, Jonathan and Mark had well though out lessons both in the classroom last fall and in the field, and I high recommend their course for anyone interested in backcountry skiing, which is what Sweeney said to me about the course last year.
Our route plan took us up above Great Gulf, into Huntington and back down the Sherburne the first day, a extensive ski tour. The second day we went into Gulf of Slides to dig a snow pit and across to Hermit Lake before doing rescue practice to wrap up the weekend.
I took only a few photos of the weekend, although there’s a few of our course on Mt. Washington Auto Road’s FB page.