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  1. #1
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    Avalanche Safety Courses in the Northeast?

    Anybody have any recommendations for a good safety course in the Northeast? I've seen a few in New Hampshire and Maine advertised online. I'm in New York City, but understandably will probably have to travel for one

  2. #2
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    I did the AIARE course with Synnott Mountain guides in the Chic Chocs. Highly recommended.

    Sent from my SM-N920V using TGR Forums mobile app

  3. #3
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    There is this at Mt. Washington:

    http://aiare.info/course_detail.php?recid=5907

    I believe a maggot is involved in running/teaching it. He will probably chime in here soon.
    [quote][//quote]

  4. #4
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    Awesome. Thank you both.

  5. #5
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    there aren't avalanches on east coast groomers

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by BRUTAH View Post
    there aren't avalanches on east coast groomers
    You are wrong.... I give you, “the Wall” @ Holiday Valley!

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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by m2711c View Post
    You are wrong.... I give you, “the Wall” @ Holiday Valley!

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    Rad! That was the most feared run for me growing up at HV. Haven't been there close to 20 years. Just looked at it on CalTopo and was...underwhelmed. It used to seem so extreme.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by m2711c View Post
    You are wrong.... I give you, “the Wall” @ Holiday Valley!

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    the more you know.

    we actually kicked off a nice slab avalanche on a groomer during my snowmaking days at Alta. It was a huge whale, free willy!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by BRUTAH View Post
    there aren't avalanches on east coast groomers

    Actually, there is on a trail at Gore called Rumor. It's this mondo steep thing on top of the mountain that they blow tons of snow onto, and every now and then, believe it or not, if conditions are right, it slides.

    Let's do some livin'
    After, we die

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Benny Profane View Post
    Actually, there is on a trail at Gore called Rumor. It's this mondo steep thing on top of the mountain that they blow tons of snow onto, and every now and then, believe it or not, if conditions are right, it slides.
    Gore is a great mountain to find places where there is less people and get lost in the trees. Rumor is worth it....has some steep to it....then skier right side money all the way down. Lies is a good one too. They blow huge snow whales up top that are fun to "get around". Again, right side money. Midweek...nobody there.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by doebedoe View Post
    Rad! That was the most feared run for me growing up at HV. Haven't been there close to 20 years. Just looked at it on CalTopo and was...underwhelmed. It used to seem so extreme.
    To be fair, when it looks like someone spent a few hours spraying it down with a fire hose in 20 degree weather it is certainly not too inviting--several times that I was there I saw people slide for life from top to bottom, one after the other. 35 degrees (or whatever its pitch is) and solid ice with gapers on rental gear...good times at HV. But yeah, not actually too much to it (or HV in general, I guess).
    [quote][//quote]

  12. #12
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    Whiteface had an in- bounds avy on a groomer

  13. #13
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    Acadia Mountain Guides with Jon and Silas. Fantastic course. http://aiare.info/course_list.php?sort=provider&type=

  14. #14
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  15. #15
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    More options - even better, thanks. I was already eyeing the class at Mt. Washington, so I'll probably end up going with Acadia Mountain Guides. Thanks @hafjell

  16. #16
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    Honestly, though... unless you're never going to ski outside of the east coast, you should really take a course out west. The field observations and lessons learned from digging pits simply can't be replicated on the East coast (not saying avalanches can't happen there). Doing an ECT and seeing a huge slab layer slide loose after a few taps is a real world wakeup call and gives you a whole new respect for the snowpack.

    Not to mention, a huge part of the course is about how to travel in avalanche terrain... and you need a lot of it to get a feel for proper route planning and that sort of thing. Here's this morning's report... what is an appropriate objective for the day?

    Or consider doing one back East and in the future another out West!

    Just my 2 cents.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by TahoeJ View Post
    Honestly, though... unless you're never going to ski outside of the east coast, you should really take a course out west. The field observations and lessons learned from digging pits simply can't be replicated on the East coast (not saying avalanches can't happen there). Doing an ECT and seeing a huge slab layer slide loose after a few taps is a real world wakeup call and gives you a whole new respect for the snowpack.

    Not to mention, a huge part of the course is about how to travel in avalanche terrain... and you need a lot of it to get a feel for proper route planning and that sort of thing. Here's this morning's report... what is an appropriate objective for the day?

    Or consider doing one back East and in the future another out West!

    Just my 2 cents.
    +1

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by TahoeJ View Post
    Honestly, though... unless you're never going to ski outside of the east coast, you should really take a course out west. The field observations and lessons learned from digging pits simply can't be replicated on the East coast (not saying avalanches can't happen there). Doing an ECT and seeing a huge slab layer slide loose after a few taps is a real world wakeup call and gives you a whole new respect for the snowpack.

    Not to mention, a huge part of the course is about how to travel in avalanche terrain... and you need a lot of it to get a feel for proper route planning and that sort of thing. Here's this morning's report... what is an appropriate objective for the day?

    Or consider doing one back East and in the future another out West!

    Just my 2 cents.
    Agreed. This is just step 1

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by TahoeJ View Post
    Honestly, though... unless you're never going to ski outside of the east coast, you should really take a course out west. The field observations and lessons learned from digging pits simply can't be replicated on the East coast (not saying avalanches can't happen there). Doing an ECT and seeing a huge slab layer slide loose after a few taps is a real world wakeup call and gives you a whole new respect for the snowpack.

    Not to mention, a huge part of the course is about how to travel in avalanche terrain... and you need a lot of it to get a feel for proper route planning and that sort of thing. Here's this morning's report... what is an appropriate objective for the day?

    Or consider doing one back East and in the future another out West!

    Just my 2 cents.
    I'm not disagreeing, but there is a lot of exposure and plenty of lessons to be learned on Mt Washington. It's one fd up snowpack. Certainly considered maritime, but with an ec twist and heavy winds. Gulf of slides is a perfect place to learn and scare yourself.

    But yeah, go to the Rockies as well.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by jackstraw View Post
    I'm not disagreeing, but there is a lot of exposure and plenty of lessons to be learned on Mt Washington. It's one fd up snowpack. Certainly considered maritime, but with an ec twist and heavy winds. Gulf of slides is a perfect place to learn and scare yourself.

    But yeah, go to the Rockies as well.
    This too. The weather there is just so gnarly

  21. #21
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    Yeah, Colorado almost always has a fucked up snowpack so it's definitely a good place to take a course. Fortunately when I took mine in Tahoe, we had some buried hoar layers and unusual for Maritime type stuff going on, so it was educational.

  22. #22
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    Sep 2006
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    Yep you can always find something fucked up/upside down around here. Great for learnin

  23. #23
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    Apr 2007
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    Bethel, Maine
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    Quote Originally Posted by TahoeJ View Post
    Honestly, though... unless you're never going to ski outside of the east coast, you should really take a course out west. The field observations and lessons learned from digging pits simply can't be replicated on the East coast (not saying avalanches can't happen there). Doing an ECT and seeing a huge slab layer slide loose after a few taps is a real world wakeup call and gives you a whole new respect for the snowpack.

    Not to mention, a huge part of the course is about how to travel in avalanche terrain... and you need a lot of it to get a feel for proper route planning and that sort of thing. Here's this morning's report... what is an appropriate objective for the day?

    Or consider doing one back East and in the future another out West!

    Just my 2 cents.
    I'd disagree about traveling in avalanche terrain. The travel techniques that mitigate risk apply equally to alpine terrain regardless of location, and the Presidentials have plenty of alpine terrain to work with.

    Snowpack analysis can vary; if you get a good thaw-freeze cycle, you're probably not going to get the chance to learn much except exactly how rugged your tools are, and the principles of the tests. However, I think the more important question is whether or not you'll be able to practice and apply what you learned; if you're not spending time in avalanche terrain, it's a lot tougher to get a solid feel for the difference signs of stability and instability, whether through digging pits or other observations.

    I took Avy 1 in Smuggler's Notch (via NSP) in 2007, and aside from one trip to the Chic-Chocs and a couple to Mt. Washington, didn't use much of what I learned until moving to Montana in 2014. By that point, I had forgotten most of the snowpack analysis details, but it was relatively easy to refresh on the mountain-travel techniques and beacon / rescue techniques (not that a modern beacon is hard to use in a single-burial scenario). I also found myself in a part of Montana that didn't have a local avalanche center (the CGNF center doesn't cover the mountains near Red Lodge), so there was an added element of understanding necessary in looking at a bulletin for somewhat nearby areas and understanding how things might be similar or different given local differences in weather patterns.

    So I'd say that a good level 1 should cover the same material regardless of where you take it, but practicing the skills introduced is the important part (starting with the thinking element)—as someone else noted, being able to read a report, look at a map, and understand what objectives are reasonable, which could be sketchy and approached with extreme caution, and which are just dumb, is critical to backcountry travel.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by TahoeJ View Post
    Honestly, though... unless you're never going to ski outside of the east coast, you should really take a course out west. The field observations and lessons learned from digging pits simply can't be replicated on the East coast (not saying avalanches can't happen there). Doing an ECT and seeing a huge slab layer slide loose after a few taps is a real world wakeup call and gives you a whole new respect for the snowpack.

    Not to mention, a huge part of the course is about how to travel in avalanche terrain... and you need a lot of it to get a feel for proper route planning and that sort of thing. Here's this morning's report... what is an appropriate objective for the day?

    Or consider doing one back East and in the future another out West!

    Just my 2 cents.
    I think I get your gist, but would caution against any blanket statement. Much worse weather in the Presidentials/NH than Tahoe. Colder and windier and alpine at much lower elevations. I skied Tahoe for four straight seasons, and I know the weather can be awful; but the Whites are another level. This makes route selection and snow assessment critical. (You're not just dealing with avalanches.) Also, there is a ton of terrain that rarely gets skied because most will stick to Tuckerman Ravine or Gulf of Slides. Perfect place to hone your route planning skills.
    Did a hike through the Great Gulf Wilderness recently and was astonished at the number of lines there--all with serious avalanche repercussions, exposure, rescue implausibility, etc. Knowing how to rely on yourself or your party is critical in the Whites as you will be very cold if you get stuck overnight.
    Also, slightly off-topic, but I will be purchasing a whistle. The Great Gulf makes Mt. Washington look like Times Square. Mt. Madison area is legit.

  25. #25
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    Avalanche Safety Courses in the Northeast?

    Quote Originally Posted by half-fast View Post
    Whiteface had an in- bounds avy on a groomer
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    This is from a few years ago. Some asshole dropped in from the toll road while I was skiing slide 1. This view is from the lift on my way back up for another run. If it happened 20 minutes earlier, it would’ve been a bad situation for me....

    Slides happen quite frequently around here. Ive know several people that have been caught, and I Read about at least a few instances every year.

    There is always an avy 1 course every winter here too, usually in February or March. You can even dig actual pits and set stuff off if the snow pack is there.. contact the Mountaineer for info if you’re interested
    Last edited by t-the-east; 09-08-2018 at 08:31 AM.

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