Alpine Initiatives recently teamed up with with Vail Resorts, Vail Ski Patrol and Back Country Access to hold what may have been the most exciting backcountry awareness class of all time.
Teens from all over the Vail area were invited to attend this free backcountry awareness class. Twenty eager students signed up for the two day course hosted by Vail to learn how they can be better prepared when entering the backcountry. Alpine Initiatives brought in certified course instructor Seth Koch and Mikey Hovey to impart their avi knowledge and wisdom upon the participants. Back Country Access provided full backcountry equipment set ups for students lacking the necessary backcountry tools, and mother nature decided she would bring a couple fresh feet of pow to make the class that much more fun.
The course consisted of dry land instructional sessions in the morning and on mountain drills throughout out the remainder of the day. Students learned the basic physics behind avalanches and how to access potential areas where slopes can slide. They also learned the proper steps to take before, during and after being in the backcountry. The most important lesson many students came away with was the knowledge that any slope in the backcountry can slide at any time.
The most exciting part of the course was hands down the on mountain drills. Participants learned proper beacon search, probing and shoveling techniques and had the chance to practice these skills again and again over the two days. When it was all said and done, twenty teens walked away with an increased interest in avalanche training and a better understanding of how they can play safely out of bounds.