Instructor Bio

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Steve Charest
United States

(413) 896-0060
Course Leader

Upcoming Programing

Three-Day AIARE (American Institute for Avalanche Research & Education) Avalanche Level I

Petra Cliffs Mountaineering School will teach you the basics of avoiding avalanches including route selection, evaluating avalanche potential and rescue procedures. This stand alone course is a must for skiers, snowboarders, climbers & backcountry enthusiasts. The Level 1 Course provides a complete introduction to the avalanche occurrence, avalanche terrain, decision-making, and rescue. It is an ideal first course for those new to travel in avalanche terrain and a great review or upgrade for anyone who has some experience or prior training but feels they need a skills \\\"tune-up.\\\" The Level 1 Course is designed to lead into the AIARE Level 2 Courses.

Participants receive 24 hours of classroom and field instruction over 3 days, and can expect to cover the following subjects:

• Types of avalanches

• Characteristics of avalanches

• An introduction to how avalanches form and release

• Identifying avalanche terrain

• Trip planning and preparation

• Travel techniques

• Decision making

• Avalanche rescue

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The level 2 course is a 4-day program that provides backcountry leaders the opportunity to advance their avalanche knowledge and decision making skills. This course also includes the introductory and prerequisite components for the professional progression: the level 3 certificate.

The Level 2 builds from the introductory avalanche hazard management model introduced in the level one and adds to it the evaluation of factors critical to stability evaluation.

AIARE level II

2 Day Mount Washington, NH Steep Skiing Clinic

This two day course is for expert skiers whom wish to explore terrain steeper than the black diamond trails at the resort and take there skills to the wild of the backcountry. This course utilizes the world famous Mount Washington’s Gulf of Slides and Tuckerman Ravine to redefine what you are capable of accomplishing on skis. Join us as we redefine your terrain selection and teach you the techniques to mitigate steep terrain. Over the two days we help find your limit and then show you how to push beyond. Learn form our guides experience about their risk assessment, define hazards and work through their decision making process.

Prerequisites: Advanced skiing or riding skills, AIARE level I recommended but not required

Valdez Alaska 7 day Ski Mountaineering

Not willing to part ways with ski season just yet? Join us for the ultimate backcountry adventure: A week of intensive big-mountain/ski mountaineering instruction while exploring Alaska’s world famous terrain.

The camp is open to any expert (able to ski all blacks) Alpine Tourer (Randonee), Telemarker, or Split Snowboarders. Utilizing AK’s spectacular terrain you will learn about big mountain and backcountry travel, including climbing and descent techniques, line choice, route finding/tour planning, equipment use, mountain terminology, weather interpretation, crevasse rescue and glacier travel techniques, snow stability/avalanche transceiver use and general avalanche awareness. Although it sounds like a lot, our professional guides know how to integrate all of these skills into hands-on, exciting, educational days of skiing and snowboarding.

Learn the basics of backcountry skiing, ski mountaineering, avalanche awareness, and steep skiing techniques with Petra Cliffs professional ski guides while sampling as much of possible of the high quality ski mountaineering ascents and descents offered by the Chugach Range near Valdez.. Participants must be 16 years old or older and must be PSIA level 8 or higher skiers or snowboarders. Participants must be comfortable skiing in avalanche terrain, on ungroomed/natural snow and be physically fit to climb and ski 5,000+ vertical feet per day. All of our turns will be earned by skinning and climbing. Prices include a maximum 1:4 coaching to student ratio to ensure safety and plenty of hands on learning opportunities. Each day runs from approximately 8:00am-5:00pm. We will be based in a B&B in town, and access to the mountains is an easy van ride up to Thompson Pass, AK. After each day of touring there will be time to relax in the unique Alaskan town of Valdez.

Contact Petra Cliffs for more information on Dates and prices