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Thread: A few questions

  1. #26
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    Couple thoughts:

    1) he needs an AIARE level 1 class ASAP. This is mandatory for backcountry skiers. Offer to pay for it as well as the beacon, shovel, and probe of his choosing.

    2) give him space. He's 22, not 16. He's an adult. 22 is the same age I started backcountry skiing. My path was slightly different in that I did my L1 first, then sought out experienced partners to learn from, but I'm thankful that my parents trusted me to not be a dumbass. You should be able to trust him to make good decisions as an adult; if not, you have bigger issues than him going backcountry skiing IMO.
    Quote Originally Posted by Norseman View Post
    All ye punterz! Leave thine stupid heavy skis in the past, or at least in the resort category, for the age of lightweight pussy sticks is upon us! Behold! Keep up with the randocommandos on their carbon blades of shortness! Break thine tibias into spiral splinters with pintech extravagance!

  2. #27
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    Good idea.
    Thanks.

    Quote Originally Posted by doebedoe View Post
    If his friends and him are driving out -- maybe suggest they listen to the Slide podcast on the way.

    It can be a really sobering way to think about common mental traps and group dynamics on your way towards the bc.

  3. #28
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    Yep, agreed.
    I basically panicked a bit last night, without asking him the pertinent questions. Got some answers today, and feeling better about it all.
    Thanks for your input.

    Quote Originally Posted by adrenalated View Post
    Couple thoughts:

    1) he needs an AIARE level 1 class ASAP. This is mandatory for backcountry skiers. Offer to pay for it as well as the beacon, shovel, and probe of his choosing.

    2) give him space. He's 22, not 16. He's an adult. 22 is the same age I started backcountry skiing. My path was slightly different in that I did my L1 first, then sought out experienced partners to learn from, but I'm thankful that my parents trusted me to not be a dumbass. You should be able to trust him to make good decisions as an adult; if not, you have bigger issues than him going backcountry skiing IMO.

  4. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skihiker View Post
    Thanks buddy!
    Just talked with him on the phone, and. . . got some good answers that are making me feel better.
    He said the group of six is pretty experience(save him), as they go "almost every weekend), etc. They/most have had avy classes, as well as a couple are studying snow science(not quite the same as an avy class, but in the same realm). Said they have probes, all the gear, and that they taught him how to use/test his transceiver that they lent him.
    Further along, sounds like they're staying at a cabin somewhere just outside of Cooke, and will be doing the "min-golf," thing- first time, now the second thanks to you, that I've heard that term. Sounds like they've also been to this area a few times, so, they should be familar with it. Said they'd be skiing mellow stuff, somewhere near a lake.

    So, I do feel better about the group he's going with, and he said he'd update me as time for departure got closer. Also said that this group looks at the updated Avy site, Gallatin, on the day of departure.
    Sounds like they play it safe, overall.
    Thanks very much, everyone, for all the good advice!
    Much appreciated.
    I hope it helped. There's plenty of places to get in trouble there, don't get me wrong, but its as safe as they want to make it. If they are snowmobiling to the cabins, east of town on the closed highway, I think I've stayed there. I'm jealous, we had to dig down to the door to enter the buildings. Winter wonderland.

  5. #30
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    Umm, sounds nice, and I'm jealous too.
    By the sounds of it, they would appear to be safe, or taking this whole thing safely.
    Twas me that freaked out a bit. .
    Cheers.

    Quote Originally Posted by muted View Post
    I hope it helped. There's plenty of places to get in trouble there, don't get me wrong, but its as safe as they want to make it. If they are snowmobiling to the cabins, east of town on the closed highway, I think I've stayed there. I'm jealous, we had to dig down to the door to enter the buildings. Winter wonderland.

  6. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by adrenalated View Post
    Couple thoughts:

    1) he needs an AIARE level 1 class ASAP. This is mandatory for backcountry skiers. Offer to pay for it as well as the beacon, shovel, and probe of his choosing.

    .
    OK I agree that he needs to take a Rec level 1, but please realize that AIARE does not have the market cornered on good level 1s, even though you might think that "AIARE level 1" is all one term. Make sure the course provider is on the AAA list, and go from there. https://avalanche.org/avalanche-education/#

  7. #32
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    I just had time to skim this, so I hope my advice is not redundant, or off target, or too late, but I would fully own the 'worried parent' thing with your son. Make it clear that your aim is not to monitor his behavior, but to help provide him with the tools and knowledge for safety and success. I obsess over communication issues, so that's where I'm coming from.

  8. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by homemadesalsa View Post
    OK I agree that he needs to take a Rec level 1, but please realize that AIARE does not have the market cornered on good level 1s, even though you might think that "AIARE level 1" is all one term. Make sure the course provider is on the AAA list, and go from there. https://avalanche.org/avalanche-education/#
    Good point. Here in CO AIARE does more or less have the market cornered on good level 1s so I'm kinda in the habit of saying that, but you're right, that's not necessarily the case in other places. There are definitely some great L1 providers out there that are not AIARE-affiliated (American Avalanche Institute comes to mind).

    The AAA provider list is also a good reference but there are many providers that operate here in CO that provide a very good education and aren't on the list. There's also several organizations on the list that offer entry level avalanche education but not L1s. So that resource isn't a definitive list of good providers either.
    Quote Originally Posted by Norseman View Post
    All ye punterz! Leave thine stupid heavy skis in the past, or at least in the resort category, for the age of lightweight pussy sticks is upon us! Behold! Keep up with the randocommandos on their carbon blades of shortness! Break thine tibias into spiral splinters with pintech extravagance!

  9. #34
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    never took avvy 1
    my semester long snow science class was way better bang for the buck than avvy 2 weekend
    the ability to render quality 1st reponder medical aid is way overlooked and more important that avvy 1 imo but no wheres near as cool and they even make you prove compitence for the certs
    season journeymen often make better decsions than experts
    mother nature dont care ifin youre either
    except when solo group dynamics make or break it
    spatial varibilites and awareness matter way more than a lot of people think
    aint no safety in beer
    "When the child was a child it waited patiently for the first snow and it still does"- Van "The Man" Morrison
    "I find I have already had my reward, in the doing of the thing" - Buzz Holmstrom
    "THIS IS WHAT WE DO"-AML -
    ski on in eternal peace

  10. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by adrenalated View Post
    Here in CO AIARE does more or less have the market cornered on good level 1s
    I don't believe that. What criteria are you using to assess all of the non-AIARE courses? Are all the AIARE L1s good? If so, what are you basing that assessment on?

  11. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by covert View Post
    I don't believe that. What criteria are you using to assess all of the non-AIARE courses? Are all the AIARE L1s good? If so, what are you basing that assessment on?
    I'm not familiar with any reputable providers in CO that are not using AIARE curriculum for their L1s? I would love to hear about any that aren't, would love to be wrong and always looking for good places to recommend to people - AIARE or otherwise.

    Yes, there are AIARE providers that I don't think are particularly good. My AIARE L1 was a long time ago but that provider didn't have their shit together at all.

    My criteria is purely my own subjective opinion from talking to people that have come out of courses from various providers. As such it should be taken with a giant grain of salt and/or not seriously at all.

    I know there was some political infighting between AAA and AIARE this year. I know nothing of the details, and don't care to, but it seems like any mention of AIARE seems to rankle some avalanche professionals now. Which I think is unfortunate.
    Quote Originally Posted by Norseman View Post
    All ye punterz! Leave thine stupid heavy skis in the past, or at least in the resort category, for the age of lightweight pussy sticks is upon us! Behold! Keep up with the randocommandos on their carbon blades of shortness! Break thine tibias into spiral splinters with pintech extravagance!

  12. #37
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    Yeah, a couple of his friends in the group are majoring in snow science.
    Great suggestion on the first responder course.
    Nope, Mother Nature usually doesn't care how experienced anyone is. . .
    From the sounds of it, his group is a good one.
    Agree with all your suggestions.
    Thanks.

    Quote Originally Posted by skifishbum View Post
    never took avvy 1
    my semester long snow science class was way better bang for the buck than avvy 2 weekend
    the ability to render quality 1st reponder medical aid is way overlooked and more important that avvy 1 imo but no wheres near as cool and they even make you prove compitence for the certs
    season journeymen often make better decsions than experts
    mother nature dont care ifin youre either
    except when solo group dynamics make or break it
    spatial varibilites and awareness matter way more than a lot of people think
    aint no safety in beer

  13. #38
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    Yep, I hear you, and am working on that communication stuff with him, and think I did a pretty good job of it. His natural tendency(like all of us?) is to get defensive, to let me know that he/they, have it "all figured out." But, I think he also knows where I'm coming from, and once I got some straight answers to my questions, I backed off and thanked him.
    Thanks.

    Quote Originally Posted by covert View Post
    I just had time to skim this, so I hope my advice is not redundant, or off target, or too late, but I would fully own the 'worried parent' thing with your son. Make it clear that your aim is not to monitor his behavior, but to help provide him with the tools and knowledge for safety and success. I obsess over communication issues, so that's where I'm coming from.

  14. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by adrenalated View Post
    Couple thoughts:

    1) he needs an AIARE level 1 class ASAP. This is mandatory for backcountry skiers. .
    are you really saying me, my wife and at least 1/2 of people who mentored and or/learned with me are doing it or did it wrong?
    personally there was a time when i thought i knew or could learn all you need to not be one of them
    died doin what they loved er
    but it dont always work out that way
    i always liked the hand full of luck and another of skills that may or may not allow you to make good decisions and survive mistakes that like dieing every body makes
    and hows much lucks left or where and when those skills might come froms or if there is enough in either hands always unknown
    "When the child was a child it waited patiently for the first snow and it still does"- Van "The Man" Morrison
    "I find I have already had my reward, in the doing of the thing" - Buzz Holmstrom
    "THIS IS WHAT WE DO"-AML -
    ski on in eternal peace

  15. #40
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    Imo, having a level one and gear is such a long ways from actual competence that I'd be scared shitless about my kid going to Cooke City. I don't have first hand experience skiing there, but the accident rate seems incredibly high.

  16. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by skifishbum View Post
    are you really saying me, my wife and at least 1/2 of people who mentored and or/learned with me are doing it or did it wrong?
    personally there was a time when i thought i knew or could learn all you need to not be one of them
    died doin what they loved er
    but it dont always work out that way
    i always liked the hand full of luck and another of skills that may or may not allow you to make good decisions and survive mistakes that like dieing every body makes
    and hows much lucks left or where and when those skills might come froms or if there is enough in either hands always unknown
    I believe things have changed quite a bit. I think when I first started skiing backcountry around 17yrs ago it was a fairly common practice to find an experienced parnter/group and have a "mentor" who made it clear what best practices, terrain assessment, snow science, group think etc were. I didn't take an avy 1 for a couple years after having gotten into backcountry skiing (well snowboarding) and while informative, it was information had already learned more from experiences partners. I believe the more options and access to information to people new to the backcountry the better. However like mentioned above sometimes younger groups with some experience(say avy 1) can a false sense of security when getting into big and complex terrain such as Cooke. That being said there's also plenty of really fun less consequential terrain as well. I'll also echo that communication is huge especially with new partners. People can have different risk tolerances and it's important to speak up and make your opinion known as well have the group respect that.

    O.P. sounds like you're doing everthing you can. There's quite a bit of good advice in this thread. I'll add that bell lake yurt and beartooth powder both do avy 1 field courses that are a pretty sweet deal. Hell book one together and get some great skiing in with your boy while getting you both a little piece of mind.

  17. #42
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    I'll add that bell lake yurt and beartooth powder both do avy 1 field courses that are a pretty sweet deal. Hell book one together and get some great skiing in with your boy while getting you both a little piece of mind.
    A most excellent suggestion.

  18. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by lifelinksplit View Post
    I believe things have changed quite a bit. I think when I first started skiing backcountry around 17yrs ago it was a fairly common practice to find an experienced parnter/group and have a "mentor" who made it clear what best practices, terrain assessment, snow science, group think etc were. I didn't take an avy 1 for a couple years after having gotten into backcountry skiing (well snowboarding) and while informative, it was information had already learned more from experiences partners. I believe the more options and access to information to people new to the backcountry the better. However like mentioned above sometimes younger groups with some experience(say avy 1) can a false sense of security when getting into big and complex terrain such as Cooke. That being said there's also plenty of really fun less consequential terrain as well. I'll also echo that communication is huge especially with new partners. People can have different risk tolerances and it's important to speak up and make your opinion known as well have the group respect that.

    O.P. sounds like you're doing everthing you can. There's quite a bit of good advice in this thread. I'll add that bell lake yurt and beartooth powder both do avy 1 field courses that are a pretty sweet deal. Hell book one together and get some great skiing in with your boy while getting you both a little piece of mind.
    spot ons
    when we started the avvy report was on at 7 on community radio
    and you dialed a phone for the recording if ya missed it
    wasnt but a few classes
    i almost had to get tele gear
    id still rather take a newbie with strong 1st aid and companion rescue and communication skills
    than someone who thinks avvy 1 is magical experiance bonus hours or techy snow science knowledge
    or you cant glean something outta covrets fine podcasts or a avvy seminar that could be a game changer at some point
    on a given day on a given slope
    "When the child was a child it waited patiently for the first snow and it still does"- Van "The Man" Morrison
    "I find I have already had my reward, in the doing of the thing" - Buzz Holmstrom
    "THIS IS WHAT WE DO"-AML -
    ski on in eternal peace

  19. #44
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    Get him Bruce Tremper's books. Staying Alive In Avalanche Terrain, and Avalanche Essentials.


    Like Skifishbum, i'd rather ski/ride with a 1st responder, than a snow dork.

    Never taken an avi course, and never plan to.

    Discipline for where, when, and how. Safety rules are mundane, and easy for complacency to set in. Be disciplined and don't break from the mundane. One at a time, beacon check, report check, terrain choice, etc.

  20. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skihiker View Post

    So, I do feel better about the group he's going with, and he said he'd update me as time for departure got closer. Also said that this group looks at the updated Avy site, Gallatin, on the day of departure.
    Going with a good group is probably the best way to learn. A good group will let him experience how quickly things can go wrong, and how to avoid them. A few good sessions of Mini-Golf can help him to experience the exposure to bad decisions without large consequences.

    I'm betting that a few of his group are checking the Gallatin Avi site on a daily basis. Those snow science types are known to do that.

    Be glad that he is starting his education with an experienced group. Remember that the drive to the trailhead can be more dangerous than back country, yet that probably isn't keeping you up at night. Den

  21. #46
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    To all the negativity towards Avy 1, I would counter:

    1. It's a good step on the path to deeper knowledge.
    2. It made me realize how lucky I'd been. Times when I thought I was good, I was actually lucky. This was sobering. I have skied mellower lines on higher consequence days since.
    3. It was the first time I ever heard a really good skier say, "You can have a lot of fun skiing 20 degrees if the snow is good." This sounds pretty obvious, but in a macho sport, hell-bent on steeper and steeper lines, it bears repeating.
    4. Positioning an unofficial mentorship as superior to an official avy 1 course is a false dilemma. It's not either/or. Do both.

  22. #47
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    Just to be clear I have don't have negative feelings towards Avy 1. As I said the more available info for people the better.

    SFB made me remember a conversation with my wife a couple weeks back...
    Wife: you check the avy center website?
    Me: yeah, but I used to call the hotline mostly. 586-2389
    Wife: honestly?! You can't remember any phone #' s. What's my #?
    Me: fuck if I know.

  23. #48
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    Yeah, i'm not anti avi course, and any learning is a good a thing, just not for me.

    Guess what i should have said instead, is that it's not a get out of jail free card.

  24. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by lifelinksplit View Post
    Just to be clear I have don't have negative feelings towards Avy 1. As I said the more available info for people the better.

    SFB made me remember a conversation with my wife a couple weeks back...
    Wife: you check the avy center website?
    Me: yeah, but I used to call the hotline mostly. 586-2389
    Wife: honestly?! You can't remember any phone #' s. What's my #?
    Me: fuck if I know.
    Itís funny that you used to remember it, and itís funny that you still remember it.


    Sent from my iPhone using TGR Forums

  25. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by lifelinksplit View Post
    Just to be clear I have don't have negative feelings towards Avy 1. As I said the more available info for people the better.

    SFB made me remember a conversation with my wife a couple weeks back...
    Wife: you check the avy center website?
    Me: yeah, but I used to call the hotline mostly. 586-2389
    Wife: honestly?! You can't remember any phone #' s. What's my #?
    Me: fuck if I know.
    Memory is such a fickle bitch.

    Advisory: 406-587-6981 (has been since forever)

    Contact - Bridger Bowl Ski Area
    General Information. (406) 587-2111 ∑ Snow Phone (406) 586-2389

    No one here has said that L1 is the be all/end all. It is just a step down the road as well as a foundation to build knowledge upon. Not everyone has mentors available.

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