|We did some of this...|
So, how exactly did I spend the last two-and-a-half days? Did I shred my double-rocker'd monster-fat powder skis? Did I tear it up in the out of bounds trees? Well, no. Not exactly.
I made just two runs all weekend. Why? Because, I've been in avalanche education class to get my Level 1 certification since Friday afternoon, thanks, in part, to a generous scholarship the folks at the Kachina Peaks Avalanche Center awarded me.
|And a whole-lotta this...|
I won't bore you with the details. Nevertheless, for the record: I'm really glad I finally got this training, even though it meant missing out on a couple of otherwise awesome ski-days. Avy training's not for everyone. But, I've wanted to learn the nomenclature and fundamentals of avalanche science for years (I'd also like to get my WFR). For me, Avy training meshes quite naturally with my, shall we say, fondness for winter weather-watching, as well as with my abiding affection for the winter season in general, snow skiing in particular, and my penchant heading out into the backcountry/slackcountry to do it when I get the chance.
I learned a lot from our instructors, David Lovejoy, Derik Spice, and Troy Marino, over the course of the weekend, and I hope to be able to continue to build on my newly acquired foundational knowledge in the field. I may not ever go after my Level 2 cert (it's a four-day course). But I hope to be able to catch an opportunity now and then to head out with the ski patrol to dig and assess a few more pits.
Likewise, and more importantly, I hope that what I've learned helps my friends and me to make better informed, reasonable decisions when skiing together on untracked snow out of bounds.