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Every morning started with early tram laps. Having private access to Mineral Basin to start the day was like eating dessert first. Sorry for the lack of action shots. A skier has to ski sometimes.
Part of getting into the backcountry is knowing how to get out, even if it’s not how you came in. Attendees learned the best way to get ahold of rescue services, and be ready for their arrival.
Rope and webbing are mandatory in every pack. Here we see how to make an improvised harness. Perfect for when things get dicey or a rescue is needed.
Having a beacon isn’t enough. When shit hits the fan, knowing exactly how your beacon behaves will save precious time. Practice, and practice often.
Part of the course included a simulated rescue scenario. It was hectic to say the least. Quick descision making is vital in a worst-case-scenario. Know how to look, and who to help first.
Learning how to stabilize broken bones in the backcountry is an essential technique. Tools like shovel handles, probes, and extra layers can all be used in emergency situations. Knowing how to use them as such before you go out the gates will provide extra protection against further damage coming to your friends.
Using a probe takes practice too. A few degrees and inches makes a big difference over a couple of meters. Confirming a hit can be difficult. Practice with your probe to know exactly what a person feels like. Here we see a probing simulation. Try making one on your own.
Digging a pit to study the snow you’re about to ski is important. It’s not hard, but it takes technique and practice. Practice. Catching a theme yet?
Utah Avalanche Center Director Bruce Tremper shows off some snow guilty of being part of a weaker layer.
The course ended with a test. Passing it doesn’t mean you need to quit learning. It just means you know a little more than you used to and still have lots more to learn. For more info go to: utahavalanchecenter.org