The course introduces participants to team decision making in the avalanche workplace. It provides essential training for those working or planning to work as a ski patrol on the avalanche control team, or as an assistant heli or cat skiing guide, or snow observer for the local avalanche advisory, or as a highways avalanche technician. Students will participate in daily operation meetings, collecting and analyze data and evidence in the field, effectively assessing and communicating hazard and risk factors, and travel safely through avalanche terrain.
By the course end students demonstrate proficiency applying the 2016 SWAG guidelines when observing and recording weather, snow and avalanche occurrences. Students demonstrate knowledge of avalanche formation and release, and have the ability to identify and characterize avalanche terrain. Successful students will receive the AIARE PRO 1 certificate.
- Demonstrate a basic knowledge of avalanche formation and release
- Conduct a small party (2-4 person) avalanche rescue and demonstrate competency to the determined standard. This includes locating two buried targets, and excavating one buried target to the snow surface within a defined time.
- Conduct study plot weather observations. Identify relevant weather trends.
- Conduct a snow profile. Choose a relevant test location and identify important layer and interface characteristics. Document using a snow profile form or digital drafting program.
- Conduct a compression test and identify fracture character.
- Conduct an ECT and PST and identify propensity for crack propagation in the weak layer.
- Observe and record avalanche occurrences. Identify important avalanche hazard factors that relate to a recent or current avalanche occurrence.
- Assess current avalanche hazard factors and describe the avalanche problem and the avalanche danger trend.
- Communicate the avalanche risk between team members.
- Identify and apply strategies to mitigate bias and other challenges to individual and team decision making.
- Relate the current and forecast avalanche problem to specific slopes and terrain features. As part of a trip plan and in the field, identify both terrain to avoid and terrain with less consequence.
- Identify avalanche paths and describe the terrain characteristics that define the start zone, track, and avalanche run out.
- Travel safely over snow in mountainous terrain.