Are you ready to hit that fresh powder out there? I support that idea, but please, get educated about it first!
It’s been an extremely high number of avalanches in the Alps & Karawanks here in Slovenia for the last couple of weeks and since the winter is still going strong I think we should not be carelessly courageous about these backcountry surfaces which are constantly changing.
So the good place to start is to take avalanche safety and mountain gear training at least once a year but these can sometimes be pretty expensive so people rather choose not to take them. Highly not recommended tho! But there’s something out there for all of you who are not willing to pay few hundred bucks and can still get some good insights on different types of avalanches and gaining the basic information about the rescue tools and techniques – and then take the in-the-field course next year ;). This online curriculum costs less than the cost of a lift ticket and is really fun to do!
So, you wanna know what it is, right?
It’s Salomon Mountain Academy and it’s an online avalanche safety course which is designed as a supplement to traditional in-the-field courses. The course consists of a series of videos, animations and self-tests where students gain some fundamental information about the avalanches, the variance in the snow pack, about the rescue tools, techniques…
The whole concept is built around two online courses. One is called Snow Safety Essentials and the second one is called Deeper into the Backcountry.
What they say you’re gonna learn after taking the first course is –>
At the end of the first chapter you will know:
- Where off-piste starts
- What can go wrong off-piste
- The difference between objective and subjective dangers
- How many accidents actually happen off-piste
- The most important misunderstandings concerning avalanches
- Why, up to now, everything went well for you (This one is pretty tricky, right? :) ).
The second module is a continuation of the first and provides more in-depth information on types of snow, avalanche situations, different terrains and the gear you need when you go backcountry.
After finishing the second course you will be able to –>
- understand the complete avalanche forecast
- work with different aspects and altitudes
- work with the terrain elements of the avalanche forecast
- know what fronts are and how to anticipate
- know the 10 typical dangers and be able to anticipate on them
- easily identify the safe and unsafe (parts of) backcountry slopes
- plan routes up and down
- now which safety tactics you must use to get there
(I took that one and is so much fun!! :) )
But hey, let’s make one serious reality check here. If you think you’ll be ready to discover backcountry out of sight after finishing this module, you are seriously mistaken. Nothing can substitute the experience that comes with being in the backcountry often enough to develop some mountain sense.
Don’t hesitate, get your avalanche safety gear here and stay safe in the mountains!
In a country of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.