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Trip Details

Date Saturday  2/8/2020
End Date Saturday  2/8/2020
Group Northern Colorado
Event Title Avalanche Terrain Avoidance Workshop - Field Day
Start Time 7:00 AM
Status Approved
Leader Steve Dielman
Co-Leader Brad Warren
Member Price Free
Non-member Price Free
Available Participants 3
Type Trip
Trip Type Snowshoe
Pace Casual
Classification Moderate BI
Trail Mileage 6
Elevation Gain 1600
Driving Distance 120

Location

***NOTE: THIS FEBRUARY 8th FIELD DAY IS ASSOCIATED WITH THE FEBRUARY 4th CLASSROOM SEMINAR FOR THE AVALANCHE TERRAIN AVOIDANCE WORKSHOP.   BOTH CLASSROOM AND FIELD SECTIONS ARE REQUIRED FOR THIS WORKSHOP.  IF YOU REGISTER FOR ONE, YOU WILL BE ENROLLED INTO AND MUST ATTEND BOTH***

Classroom discussion: 7:00 pm, Tuesday February 4, 2020, at location to be announced.

Field trip on Saturday February 8, 2020:  Field trip will be in Upper Poudre Canyon near Cameron Pass.  Exact meeting time and location will be communicated during February 4th classroom session but will be approximately 7:00 am departure from western Fort Collins with option for participants to meet the group 15 minutes later at Ted's Place.

 

 



For more info Contact

To register, contact workshop coordinator Ward Whicker by email at .

For more information, contact Ward or Steve Dielman



Details

This workshop is designed to help those engaged in wintertime backcountry snowshoe and nordic ski trips, or winter/spring climbs, to recognize and avoid potential avalanche terrain.  The workshop will consist of (1) an evening discussion and trip planning session, and (2) an all day field trip.  Both elements of the workshop are required.



This workshop will NOT include training for travel within potential avalanche terrain and search/rescue techniques covered in more comprehensive courses such as AIARE Level 1.







The evening session is scheduled from 7:00-9:30 pm, Tuesday Feb 4, at the leader's home in southwest Fort Collins. This will consist of a slide lecture/discussion and development of a trip & route plan specific to the field trip.  Specific topics will include: 




  • Overview of avalanche occurrence, with a focus on Colorado

  • Causes, types & characteristics of avalanches

  • Nature of the risks

  • Factors affecting avalanche risk (slope, wind, terrain, temperature, cornices, tree density, human factors)

  • Recognizing potential avalanche terrain, and avoiding dangerous terrain through route selection

  • Internet resources for planning (Colorado Avalanche Information Center (CAIC) ratings & snowfall data, NWS forecasts, Caltopo for slope/terrain information).



The all-day field trip will take place in the Cameron Pass area on Saturday, February 8.  The specific route will depend on snow and weather conditions, as well as the experience & skill level of the participants.  



The field trip travel can involve either snowshoes or skis (nordic or AT), but participants must remain together as a group. Whichever equipment is used, participants must be reasonably fit and able to handle deep, ungroomed snow and moderately steep terrain (up to 20 deg).  The trip is designed to help CMC trip leaders and participants that engage in snowshoe and nordic ski outings, or winter/spring climbers, learn to distinguish between avalanche terrain and non-avalanche terrain. The dividing line between these classifications is not always that obvious to those lacking formal training, and that line can vary somewhat depending on time of year and current weather and snow conditions.  Classroom lectures help, but actual experience in or near true avalanche terrain is more instructive.  



On the field trip we will observe actual avalanche terrain from adjacent terrain where avalanche risk is at or near zero. Estimation and measurement of slope angles will be practiced, and numerous examples of potentially risky (e.g. slopes, gullies, road cuts, cornices, etc.) and avalanche-free areas will be pointed out and discussed.  Clues as to what constitutes avalanche terrain versus non-avalanche terrain will be pointed out and discussed. Wintertime hazards in addition to avalanches will be observed, such as tree wells, stream crossings, deadfall, and snow hollows near rocks and stumps.. We will finish at some of the parking areas at and near Cameron Pass to observe and discuss various avalanche paths that portray historic occurrances and which should be avoided.  




Notes

Note:  We will not actually enter avalanche terrain, but will be near potentially hazardous areas so they can be easily viewed and studied.  Avalanche rescue gear will not be needed on this trip.

Participants will be tasked with field trip planning exercises during the classroom session to help increase the safety of the group during the outing.

Should participants wish to use skis rather than snowshoes, recognize that you must remain together and within easy communication distance from the snowshoers and trip leaders. 

CMC leaders who offer snowshoe & nordic ski trips, or winter/spring climbs, will be given preference on the roster.  These participants will not be charged a $10 workshop fee.  Participants who are not CMC leaders are expected to pay the $10 workshop fee.