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Saturday
Jan172015

Avalanche Courses

Midwinter in Southcentral Alaska is a great time to hone avalanche skills. These are photos from recent Level 1 and Level 2 avalanche courses I taught for the Alaska Avalanche School. Despite what the Alaska armchair pontificators have said, we found plenty of snow and great skiing. 

Our Level 1 crew at Hatcher Pass. We spent three nights at the Independence Mine Visitors Center, all hanging out and making new friends. 

 

Sully found some facets! Sully is a new AAS instructor who brings much energy, snow knowledge and snowmachining experience. 

 

Instructor Sean McManamy orchestrating trip planning sessions before heading into the field.  

 

Mid-winter sunrise over the Chugach Mountains at 9am. It's going to be a beautiful day!

 

Decision making time. Do we go to Birthday Pass or not? Fluffy snow, blue skies, moderate danger, group of seven, hmmmm....

 

Level 2 instructor meeting with Eeva Latosuo and Tucker Chenoweth at the Hatcher Pass Lodge. We're practicing our good-instructor behavior: no-beer-until-after-meeting.

 

Stability tests at Gold Cord.

 

The queen of stoke, Brooke Edwards skinning Sunnyside at Turnagain Pass. 

 

The snow was wet after a recent rain event. We spritzed Gatorade on the snow and let it soak in.

 

Fifteen minutes later Justin Libby cut a profile to look at the flow channels in the snowpack.

 

Midwinter light at Turnagain.

 

Tincan and Lyons Creek through the clouds.

 

Back at the Forest Service Visitors Center Cody Pittman and Elizabeth Powers enter observations into Avy Lab to send to the Chugach Avalanche Information Center.