On Snow Experience
This course is aimed at keen backcountry skiers, climbers and winter hill walkers. It provides a solid platform of learning for those who spend much of their winter in the mountains.
The course consists of approximately 22 hours contact time, the majority in the field, spread over three days with IFMGA mountain guides. It would provide a highly suitable introduction to snow science, it being the first required course for all winter mountain professionals in North America. The course follows the AAA curriculum guidelines. No formal prerequisites are required to attend this course, however, it is recommended that students possess winter travel and first aid skills.
You will meet the group each morning at the Hotel Le Paquis in Tignes Le Lac where there will be a short indoor session before heading out for the day.
You will need to purchase a lift pass for the three days as you will be out on snow each day. Please also note that travel and accommodation are not included.
- Avalanche types and anatomy
- Basic slab mechanics
- Terrain evaluation and route selection
- Travel protocols & group communication
- Mountain snowpack development leading to instability or stability
- Field observations, tests and judging instability
- Use of avalanche & snow pit tools: inclinometer, compass, probe, saw etc.
- Introduction to elementary pit diagrams with hand hardness profiles, basic grain type symbols and stability tests
- Avalanche & snow climates
- Human factors and systematic decision tools
- The application & limitations of decision tools
- Avalanche bulletins & their interpretation
- Rescue techniques - such as: Companion rescue including scene size up, organisation, beacon use, probing, shovelling, common mistakes in avalanche rescue; single beacon search techniques, including one to one coaching; the role of first aid and emergency response in avalanche rescues; single burial rescue scenarios.