The avalanche training essentials course is for those who want avalanche training before skiing off-piste, going ski touring or snowshoe walking. The training course covers the essential topics needed to reduce the risk of being involved in an avalanche incident.
Mark is an approved trainer by the ANENA (The French National Snow and Avalanche Association) and former trainer and assessor the International Mountain Leader Award. Read more about Mark …
Avalanche Course Content
Interpreting the Avalanche Forecast
Reading and interpreting the avalanche forecast is full of detail; each word is chosen carefully. It is vital to read the avalanche forecast in depth and not just skim read it. Many incidents take place when the risk level is at 2 or 3 and yet the location and type of risk was clearly indicated in the bulletin.
Understanding the snow pack
An essential part of any avalanche training course is understanding the snowpack. You will learn to observe and analyse current snow conditions. You will understand what conditions are “favourable” and “unfavourable”.
You will be introduced to some common stability tests. These tests can help you understand the snow pack better and confirm information found in the avalanche forecast.
Reading the ground
Be able to identify favourable and unfavourable terrain to choose appropriate routes.
Decision Making & Risk Reduction Methods
Fundamental to any avalanche training is the decision making process. A systematic approach avoids falling into “heuristic traps” (the human factor) often at the root of poor decisions. These were highlighted in the work of Ian McCammon who identified six “traps”.
Risk Reduction Tools & Methods
Munter 3 x 3 – Munter, a Swiss avalanche “guru” developed a method using a grid with the key factors being: ground, conditions and the human factor.
Nivotest – developed by Robert Bolognesi, www.meteorisk.com is a small card with a series of questions based on conditions, terrain and the group. Your answers are scored and a wheel turned to give a favourable, ambivalent or defavourable result.
MRG (Graphical Reduction Method) – based on Munter’s 3 x 3 (with variants in Germany (“Snow Card”) and in Austria (“Stop or Go”).
This course is complimentary to Introductory Avalanche Search and Rescue Training Course or the Intermediate Avalanche Search and Rescue Training Course