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