Avalanche/backcountry class recommendations? - Mountain Buzz
 

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Old 1 Week Ago   #1
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 236
Avalanche/backcountry class recommendations?

A friend of mine and I want to take an avalanche safety course, and possibly a backcountry class too. We both live in Fort Collins. We are currently looking at these two:

https://coloradomountainschool.com/plan-your-trip/
https://rmoc.com/professional-instruction/snow-ice/

Does anyone have any experience with either class, or have a recommendation of a good class?

The goal is to prepare for a guided back country trip in Canada next year. I've had an avalanche safety class and done a little bit of back country, but it was ages ago. I'm not sure if she's done either, but she's a phenomenal skier (competed in high school yadda yadda).

I'd likely be snow(split)boarding. She'll be on skis.

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Old 1 Week Ago   #2
 
Salida, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1983
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 404
The Colorado Avalanche Information Center (CAIC) teaches classes, here's a link with a phone number to call. I took a class from them 10 years ago and was very pleased with the information presented, and the field work.

https://avalanche.state.co.us/education/caic-programs/
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Old 1 Week Ago   #3
 
Evergreen, Colorado
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 161
Classes - Diamond Peaks Ski Patrol


I took their avalanche class years ago. It was wonderful, and cost my 50 dollars at the time. I'd call them and ask when the registration opens this year, and be sure and sign up right when it opens. In addition to Avy classes they have lots of other great backcountry classes. And since you're in Fort Collins it should be an easy choice.



Also, do you know about this website:


http://www.powderbuzz.com



Its not very active, but it is focused on Cameron Pass and Berthod Pass.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #4
 
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Westminster, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1980
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 498
Second CAIC in all aspects
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"If you understand, things are just as they are; if you do not understand, things are just as they are."
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Old 1 Week Ago   #5
 
Defiance, CO, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 189
x3 for CAIC


By all means take a course for your personal knowledge, but don't expect to use it on a guided trip. Unless you plan to dig multiple full depth snowpits on all slope aspects once you arrive in the area, you won't have the local base knowledge for a meaningful snow profile. You are paying the guide for their knowledge and it's his/her job to keep you safe. It is both annoying and distracting as a guide to have a client questioning and/or second guessing your safety decisions because "I took and avalanche safety class".


As a guide working 5 days a week making 5 runs a day:
If you make the right avalanche decision 99.9% of the time you have a life expectancy of about 20 years
If you make the right avalanche decision 99.6% of the time you have a life expectancy of about 2 months
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Old 1 Week Ago   #6
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 236
Great, thanks all!

noahfecks - Understood, and trust me I wouldn't be that guy. I'm not entirely sure what my friend's motivation is to take the course, but I told her I would do it with her. I suspect it's either so we can do some backcountry on our own pre-trip, or just to have a base of knowledge of what to expect.

Personally, these days I'd prefer a trip to Silverton than hiking my turns, but I'm getting old and chubby.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #7
 
Defiance, CO, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 189
I hope you get out and use what you learn here locally, it will keep you from getting too chubby :beer:
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