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Trip Details

Date Tuesday  12/7/2021
End Date
Group Northern Colorado
Event Title Avalanche Terrain Avoidance Workshop
Start Time 6:00 PM
Status Approved
Leader Ward Whicker
Co-Leader Steve Dielman
Member Price Free
Available Participants 16
Type Trip
Trip Type Snowshoe
Pace Casual
Classification Moderate B
Trail Mileage 6
Elevation Gain 1600
Driving Distance 120

Location

***NOTE: THIS DECEMBER 7th CLASSROOM SEMINAR IS ASSOCIATED WITH THE DECEMBER 11th AND DECEMBER 12th FIELD DAYS FOR THE AVALANCHE TERRAIN AVOIDANCE WORKSHOP.   IF YOU REGISTER, YOU WILL BE ENROLLED INTO AND MUST ATTEND BOTH THE CLASSROOM SESSION AND ONLY ONE OF THE FIELD SESSIONS.***

Classroom seminar: Tuesday, December 7th, 2021, 6:00 - 9:00 pm.  Fort Collins Senior Center (large theater), 1200 Raintree Drive, Fort Collins.

Field day: Particants will divided into 2 field days, Saturday, December 11th, 2021 and December 12th.  Time and location to be announced within approximately 2 hour drive of Fort Collins.



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 December 11th and 12th 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.

COVID notes: This course is available only to participants who have been fully vaccinated.  In keeping with the current Larimer County mandate,  mask wearing will be  required of all participants for the evening classroom session while indoors.  Those who are speaking can unmask until finished.  Masks will not be required outdoors during the field trip, but individual participants may wear them if they prefer.