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Trip Details

Date Sunday  1/9/2022
End Date Sunday  1/9/2022
Group Northern Colorado
Event Title Avalanche Terrain Avoidance Workshop - Field Day Section 1 (Rescheduled)
Start Time 7:00 AM
Status Approved
Leader Steve Dielman
Co-Leader Brad Warren
Member Price Free
Available Participants Standby
Type Trip
Trip Type Snowshoe
Pace Casual
Classification Moderate BI
Trail Mileage 6
Elevation Gain 1600
Driving Distance 120

Location

***NOTE: THIS JANUARY 9th FIELD DAY (RESCHEDULED) IS ASSOCIATED WITH THE DECEMBER 7th CLASSROOM SEMINAR FOR THE AVALANCHE TERRAIN AVOIDANCE WORKSHOP.   BOTH CLASSROOM AND FIELD SECTIONS ARE REQUIRED FOR THIS WORKSHOP.  IF YOU REGISTER FOR ONE, YOU WILL BE ENROLLED INTO AND MUST ATTEND BOTH.***

The January 9th all-day field trip will take place at a location to be determined within 2 hours driving distance from Fort Collins, most likely the Cameron Pass area or Rocky Mountain National Park depending on weather and snow conditions.



For more info Contact

To register, complete the questionnaire that can be downloaded from the below link and return to Ward Whicker by email at ward.whicker@colostate.edu.

Link to registration questionnaire: Here 

For more information about this workshop, please feel free to contact any of the following:

  • Ward Whicker (Course Director): ward.whicker@colostate.edu
  • Steve Dielman (Instructor): stevedielman@gmail.com
  • Brad Warren (Instructor): bradwarren27@gmail.com


Details

 



 



 




Notes

This course is designed to help those engaged in wintertime backcountry travel to recognize and avoid potential avalanche terrain.

The course will consist of: (1) an evening discussion and trip planning session, and (2) an all day field trip. This course will not include training for travel within avalanche terrain or search and rescue techniques covered in more comprehensive courses (e.g., AIARE 1).

The December 7th evening session will consist of a slide lecture/discussion and development of a trip & route plan specific to the field trip. Specific topics will include:

  • Overview of avalanche occurrence with a focus on Colorado
  • Causes, types & characteristics of avalanches
  • Nature of the risks
  • Factors affecting avalanche risk (slope, terrain, temperature, wind, cornices, tree density, human factors)
  • Recognizing and avoiding potential avalanche terrain (route selection and slope angle measurements)
  • Internet resources for planning (Colorado Avalanche Information Center (CAIC) website and ratings, snowfall data, NWS forecasts, Caltopo as a mapping & general terrain evaluation tool).

The January 9th and January 22nd (2022) all-day field trips will take place at a location to be determined within 2 hours driving distance from Fort Collins, most likely the Cameron Pass area or Rocky Mountain National Park depending on weather and snow conditions.  You must register for, and attend, only one of the field days. 

For the field trip, participants may use either snowshoes or skis (nordic or AT). Whatever equipment is used, participants must be reasonably fit and able to handle deep, ungroomed snow in moderately steep terrain (up to 20 degree slopes).

The field trip is intended to help CMC trip leaders and participants that engage in snowshoe and ski outings, or winter/spring climbers, learn to better distinguish between avalanche terrain and non-avalanche terrain. The dividing line between these classifications is not always that obvious to those lacking formal training, and that line can vary somewhat depending on time of year and current weather and snow conditions. Classroom lectures help, but actual field experience is more instructive.

During the field trip we will observe actual avalanche terrain from nearby areas where the avalanche risk is at or near zero. Wintertime hazards in addition to avalanches will be also be discussed. Estimation and measurement of slope angles will be practiced, and numerous examples of potentially risky (e.g. slopes, gullies, road cuts, cornices, etc.) and avalanche-free areas will be pointed out and discussed. Clues as to what constitutes avalanche terrain versus non-avalanche terrain will also be pointed out and discussed. We will finish with a short drive to one or more parking areas to observe and discuss the characteristics of various avalanche paths exhibiting historic slide activity and which should be avoided.

Note:  We will not actually enter avalanche terrain, but will be near potentially hazardous areas so they can be easily viewed and studied.  Avalanche rescue gear will not be needed on this trip.

COVID notes:  This course is available only to participants who have been fully vaccinated.  Masks will not be required outdoors during the field trip, but individual participants may wear them if they prefer.