RMI Guide Seth Waterfall Receives Valuable Avy 3 Training
I’ve just returned to Washington after taking part in a six day Avalanche Level 3 course in Jackson, WY. ‘Avy 3’ is the highest level of formal avalanche training in the US. It is a professional level course designed for Guides, Ski Patrollers and other avalanche forecasters. One of the best parts of the course was interacting with the other participants who all came with a high level of experience. The instructors were top-notch as well, but the best learning opportunity came from the weather. Our course began with a huge winter storm dumping several feet of snow on top of a very weak base. This was a perfect recipe for avalanches and over the remainder of the course we were able to study the cycle as it progressed. It was fascinating to say the least and we were able to sharpen our skills while closely examining the highly unstable snowpack. The ability to take weather reports and our own observations, then build a hypothesis of how the snowpack should behave, followed by then going out into the field and testing our predictions was invaluable. It was a very productive week to say the least! I’m also very thankful for the professionalism of the instructors and the participants. We were able to keep the course very safe while also being able to get the most out of the time we spent in the field.
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