Avalanche Pre-Course Info and Equipment List
Field Days at Cameron Pass
Most field sessions begin at the Moose Visitor Center along Hwy 14 in Gould, CO. This is located approximately 11 miles west of Cameron Pass summit, or 26 miles east of Walden, CO. There is typically some amount of classroom time at the beginning, and you will be given time to change from street clothes to ski attire before hitting the snow. There is a short amount of traveling (11 miles max) to arrive at the trailhead for the day.
Daily State Parks passes are the responsibility of the students, currently $7 per day per vehicle. These are necessary for most, but not all, our field sites. They are available for purchase the day-of at the Visitor Center, chat with your instructor if you have questions.
Field sessions will entail skinning and skiing anywhere between 1 and 4 miles (and up to 2,000 feet of climbing), depending on field sites and conditions for the day. Please inquire with your instructor if you have any questions on travel for the field days.
Staying near Cameron Pass
One of the great things about Cameron Pass is that there are very limited amenities, giving a true backcountry experience. However, it means that it’s difficult to find a place to stay near the field sites overnight without freezing in the back of your truck (which we don’t recommend). Here are some options for staying near the pass:
Never Summer Nordic Yurts and Huts – There are 3 ideal yurts near the road, Black Bear, Aspen and Sunset that work well to stay in for avalanche courses. Check availability at NeverSummerNordic.com.
Walden, CO is 25-30 minutes west of our field locations, and has 3 hotels/motels in addition to a few places to eat and fuel up vehicles.
· North Park Inn and Suites - http://www.northparkinnandsuites.com/
· Antlers Inn - http://www.waldenantlersinn.com/
· Chedsey Motel - https://www.chedseymotel.com/
Spencer Heights (Poudre Canyon) has fewer amenities than Walden, but it about the same time from field sites (30 minutes).
· Sportsman Lodge - http://sportsmanslodgecolorado.com/
· Trading Post Cabins - http://tradingpostresort.com/
Classroom Sessions (if applicable)
Please be prompt for class, we have a lot of material to cover and will need to get started on time each evening. Please contact your instructor directly if you know you’re running late or have to miss class for any reason. We’re pretty reasonable folks, and we can usually accommodate, but communication always helps! Be prepared to cover a lot of material in classroom sessions. Bring water and snacks to help keep yourself in tune and engaged with the sessions. Ask lots of questions and take notes in whatever way works for you.
Personal Equipment List
Avalanche Field Sessions
Avalanche Transceiver (Beacon), preferably 5 years old or newer
Backpack (Day size, 10L to 30L in volume)
Snow travel equipment (skis, splitboard, etc)
Boots, poles, and skins that go with your skis/splitboard
Ski Jacket and Pants (hardshell or softshell)
Insulated jacket (puffy)
Lunch, water, and snacks for both field days
Consider these optional items as well:
Personal first aid kit
Avalanche kit (inclinometer, grain card, etc)
Emergency Bivy, Firestarter
Extra socks and base layers
Extra gloves and warm hat
Phone, GPS, Satellite Communications
Remember that classes with two consecutive days in the field means it’s difficult at times to dry clothing out before the second day, especially if staying in yurts or huts.
These lists might not have everything you’d need, feel free to add. We’ll discuss more at classroom sessions.