We got out on the snow with students this past weekend for the first field days of the year, running the first-ever AIARE Rescue course for NSOS. It was a beautiful, albeit low-snow, weekend for the course, and everyone walked away more confident in their rescue skills.
Early in the morning, the instructor team scouted out ideal locations, catching some pretty amazing early morning light while chasing the sheltered, northern slopes for which ones would work best for the day.
Classroom sessions are held at the beautiful Moose Visitor Center for the Colorado State Forest State Park, perfect for some quick beacon drills right out the door. The snow was not deep to say the least, but it was enough to get the ball rolling for the day.
The afternoon was spent digging, burying and trading with groups to run scenarios. Students walked away with not only the knowledge of the process to follow, but great experience on how to set up and practice scenarios with their ski partners.
There was up to 3 feet of snow in the most sheltered location, with 1.5 feet being the average depth on the north side of the mountains. This gave ample snow, with some shoveling, to prep and run some great scenarios until the sun started to get low.
Avalanche Rescue is a great addition to AIARE series of courses: Decision-Making in Avalanche Terrain. Along with the AIARE 1 and AIARE 2, this really rounds out the knowledge and experience for those that want to play in the snow.
Better late than never on the snow, right? Here's to hoping!!