Avalanche Training Prepares Grade 9 Girls for Backcountry Adventures

Our active Yorkies have been involved in so many exciting pursuits, both inside and outside of the school. Ms. Matthews and Ms. Robin took a very keen group of Grade 9 students on an Avalanche Training course from January 19-21, 2018. The girls were hosted by one of our families and enjoyed a fabulous weekend of adventure, fun, and friendship! Watch the video here.

The girls learned the basics of how to determine whether a slope is likely to be safe to ski, how to travel in the mountains, how to use rescue equipment, and much more. Most of the course was spent out on the mountain. We were able to go beyond the “out of bounds” signs and explore places beyond the resort.

Certification achieved at the end of this avalanche course is AST-1. The benefits of gaining this certification are vast for anyone who enjoys playing in the snow. It is recommended that people who at any point in their life would like to travel on snow out of a controlled area have this certification, to keep themselves safe. This includes snowshoeing, skiing, sledding, and more. It is also beneficial for people who ski in bounds, as it helps us understand snow behaviour and areas that may be more high-risk.

Topics covered this in the course:

  • Understanding the basics of avalanche formation and release
  • Identifying avalanche terrain
  • Planning and carrying out a trip
  • Avalanche Terrain Exposure Scale (ATES)
  • Avalanche Danger Ratings and Avalanche Bulletins
  • Evaluating snowpack stability
  • Mountain weather forecasting
  • Using appropriate travel techniques in avalanche terrain
  • Carrying out a companion rescue


Hives for Humanity Workshop

Grade 9 French Class with Julia Commons, co-founder of Hives For Humanity

On February 14, Mr. Lum organized an apiculture (beekeeping) workshop in French for his Grade 9 French class.

The class invited Julia Commons, co-founder of Hives for Humanity, an NGO based in the Downtown Eastside. She discussed the history of bees, different types of bees, the growing concern of extinction, and why they are important in our environment.

The class then made candles out of local beeswax and seed balls for Valentine’s day. The girls are to plant the seed balls close to their homes and document the progress. The class had an apiculture class in French, were educated on the importance of bees in our community, and learned about the wonderful work Hives For Humanity does to bring people and bees together.

Mr. Alexis Lum