Avalanche Processes and Leadership Course for Snowmobilers & Snow Bikes
Our Level 2 Course is a 3-Day Program that provides Snowmobilers the opportunity to advance their Avalanche Knowledge and Decision Making Skills. This intensive, hands-on program is taught by and designed especially for sledders, offering students the skills necessary to recognize and evaluate potential avalanche terrain. The workshop will include morning sessions in a classroom followed by afternoon instruction while riding in the field. Snow Bikes welcomed!
This course focuses on the practical application of course material, such as route planning, communication techniques, group management in complex or challenging terrain, forecasting, and review of decision-making tools.
The rugged San Juan Mountains surrounding Silverton have provided the ideal avalanche education classroom since 1962. The direct access to avalanche paths and diverse backcountry terrain gives students the ability to observe a variety of snowpacks at various elevations as well as much needed experience in gaining a feel for how decisions are made in the field. The Silverton Avalanche School is a member of the American Avalanche Association (A3). Our instructors for the Snowmobile Course include Mike Duffy, a pioneer in snowmobile avalanche education in Colorado. All instructors will have good riding skills along with excellent avalanche education skills.
Snowmobile Avalanche Rescue is a prerequisite for the Snowmobile Recreational Level 2 course. It is recommended that all backcountry travelers keep their skills current by taking an Avalanche Rescue Course and receiving a rescue card at least every other year. We offer Snowmobile Level 2 Courses the same week as our Rescue Courses so that students may book accordingly. Please view our Snowmobile Avalanche Rescue course offering here.
The comprehensive curriculum includes:
- Snowmobile Triggering: theory and observations
- International and national snow, weather and avalanche observation and recording guidelines (SWAG) including: weather, interpreting forecasts, recording and observation techniques, snow profile techniques and bonding tests, avalanche observations and recording techniques
- Trip Planning and hazard forecasting for avalanche terrain including: the avalanche danger ratings, terrain analysis using maps/photos, forecasting stability and variability, checking bulletins and following weather patterns throughout the season.
- Terrain selection and route finding including: group management and hazard management, decision making & human factors, choosing terrain that is appropriate for the conditions.
- Information gathering including: site selection and relevancy, spatial variability, machine slope tests, identification of weak layers on slopes while riding the machine
- Companion Rescue including: Level 1 techniques review, managing multiple burials & close burials, strategic shoveling, effective probing, top-down and bottom-up rescue exercises
All courses are 3 days, 8am to 5pm daily
Dates: March 15-17, 2019
Students receive the Snow, Weather and Avalanches: Observation Guidelines for Avalanche Programs in the United States 2010 edition AAA, USFS. as a part of the course. Students use the Level II Course Manual and a field book for the course.
We also recommend that students read the Avalanche Handbook (3rd edition) prior to the course. An AAA Level II Course Certificate is provided at the end of the course.
Mike runs his own avalanche education company called Avalanche1 and has pioneered snowmobile avalanche education in Colorado. He is a recognized snowmobile expert in avalanche awareness and has taught over 100 snowmobile specific avalanche courses in Colorado in the past five years. Mike also works as a technical representative for BCA for the snowmobile audiences. Mike has American Avalanche Association Level I &II and AvPro level III certification, teaches at Colorado Mountain College and Silverton Avalanche School and gives snowmobile-specific avalanche classes since 1996.
Visit the Avalanche1 website to learn more.