While most backcountry users end their formal avalanche training after Avy One, snow safety requires constant education.
The annual Spring Mountaineering Course is taught at Icefall Lodge by owner Larry Dolecki, a certified IFMGA mountain guide of more than 20 years who built his ski touring lodge near the western border of Banff National Park in 2005. “This should be a great week in the mountains, filled with lots of learning and great lines,” Dolecki wrote in the course intro packet. It certainly was.
In early December 2013, Aaron Rice, a busboy at Alta’s Rustler Lodge, and friend Joe Campanelli were touring in Grizzly Gulch in Alta, Utah’s backcountry when they noticed an old human-triggered slide across a gully. They stopped to take pictures to submit to the Utah Avalanche Center when they were quickly caught up in a […]
Trusted partners add life-saving value to a tour, from additional eyes looking for instability to providing wisecracks and nips of whiskey. And while it’s essential to make sure your partner is attuned to you and the mountains, relationships go both ways. Here’s a list of tips and suggestions to help you uphold safety and stoke within your group on your next tour.
As the spring approaches, many of us turn our attention to steeper, more technical lines higher in the mountains. The layers of snow that formed throughout the winter begin to gain strength and the avalanche problem is less complicated—it’s ski mountaineering season! But as the temperatures climb, wet avalanches become a more regular, primary concern. […]
In April 2013, photographer Chris Christie and three friends ventured north of Pemberton, B.C. to Sun God Mountain and its popular, steep, north-facing terrain. The group split up, and after observing natural avalanche activity backed off from their intended line. Christie and friend Jimmy Martinello chose a nearby north-facing couloir, that from their snow pits and intuition, they deemed skiable. But their intuition was wrong.