this year more than ever has been a good reminder for me to stay on top of my avalanche safety. every year we have avalanches in and out of bounds, with so many different causing factors. it can get confusing….and scary.
we all know skiing and snowboarding can be an expensive sport, but the BEST thing you can invest your money in is an avalanche 1 course. i took my avalanche 1 about 7 years ago and was feeling like it was time for a tune up. Jackson Hole Mountain Guides offers a refresher course so i was pumped to sign up and test my knowledge with friends.
brian, one of the lead guides, is an amazing teacher and guide, and so much fun to ski with! we started the day at the JHMG office talking about the avalanche report. we then discussed as a group what we all felt comfortable skiing that day, including terrain, slope, and elevation. once we were all on the same page, we headed to the backcountry. the first step to a safe day!our first stop after getting all of our gear ready was to do a quick avalanche beacon test. having working batteries can literally be life or death, so its always key to test your beacon every. single. time. we put on our skins and headed up to the top of Teton Pass. the most important thing i learned from Brian that day was that there is no need for your skin track to be more than a 12 degree incline angle aka slow and steady is my favorite pace, bros! brian refreshed us on backcountry skills like snow pit digging, reading the snow pack, and tips and tricks for easy gear access. he also showed us new slopes that have amazing skiing. once we were done with refreshing, it was ski time! thanks for taking us in the backcountry, Brian! we had a blast and i HIGHLY recommend this course to everyone, even if you don’t plan on being a backcountry skier. KNOW BEFORE YOU GO, YO!