Professional Avalanche Worker School
February 23 - March 3, 2013 Crystal Mountain, Washington
This is a comprehensive professional course aimed at all levels of avalanche workers. It introduces the Snow, Weather, and Avalanche Guidelines of the American Avalanche Association (2004) and sets a proficiency standard of education for the U.S. avalanche community. Sixty percent of the course will be conducted in the field with the remaining forty percent of the course in the classroom. The course is intensive; eight days long and each day will be between nine and eleven hours of instruction.
This course will provide expert instruction designed to provide participants the opportunity to become accurate and efficient in snowpack observation. The course will solidify the participants' understanding of snowpack physics and avalanche formation and give them tools to apply that knowledge to the assessment of avalanches and avalanche potential. Terrain assessment, route finding, group management, and decision-making will be examined and practiced daily. Avalanche rescue and beacon use will be extensively practiced, and participants will be brought to a higher level and expected to meet a standard.
Additionally, the course will provide an overview into highly organized avalanche control programs (both at ski areas and highways), and provide industry norm instruction into avalanche control practices. This course will benefit a large audience including: forecast center avalanche observers, ski patrollers, ski guides, search and rescue coordinators/trainers, highway technicians, and experienced recreationists who want to pursue a career in the avalanche realm.
Instructors will be chosen from a pool of AAA Certified Instructors including some of the best practitioners and researchers in the avalanche industry. This course will have a pass/fail format with final evaluations being given at the end of the course. There will be course pre-work and assignments.