Sunday, December 11, 2011

Level 3 Prep/Observers Course

I brushed up my forecasting and observer skills this past week with the Alaska Avalanche School.

The Level 3 Prep/Observers Course focused on the the standards presented in the Snow, Weather and Avalanches: Observational Guidelines for Avalanche Programs in the United States - also known as the "SWAG".

Led by Tucker and Brad, whom I always seem to run into, we spent the day touring and standing in snow pits on the lower elevations of Tincan.  It was a beautiful bluebird day in the morning, turning to greybird in the afternoon with the winds ramping up - with 70mph gusts on Sunburst and 84mph on Rendezvous!

The previous ~6" of new snow dried out nicely and made for some pretty awesome skiing (...or so i've heard).  We ran into some familiar faces who skied Tincan Proper and Todd's Run....dang jealous!

The view from our snowpit basecamp.  High winds over on Pyramid Peak and the north side of the Arm.
 2mm surface hoar...something to watch out for at mid-lower elevations.
 Five snowpits....looks like craters from a CBU-31 JDAM.
Any snow geeks can find my observation here.  We wrapped up the course at Chair 5 over a beer.  I always recommend brushing up on your early season avy skills with some type of "continuing education" - and the crew at the AAS is top notch!  Thanks Tucker!

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