Project Description

Avalanche Avoidance Course

Location: Scotland – Fort William or Snowdonia, Wales
Price: £200 per person or £180 for MTA members
Length: 2 days

Who is the course suitable for?

This course is suitable for walkers, climbers, mountaineers and off piste skiers and snowboarders who would like to develop their awareness of avalanche avoidance. It also builds on the knowledge gained through the Winter Mountain Leader scheme and so is also ideal for anyone preparing for their Winter ML or MIC assessment.

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What does the course cover?

Our avalanche avoidance course is two full days. We spend the course looking at practical tips to avoid being avalanched. The course will include both theory and practical application on the mountain and is structured to give you a greater understanding of what an avalanche is, where they are most likely to occur and how to avoid them. We look at the following subjects:

Before you head out

What is an avalanche and what causes them.
Avalanche forecast interpretation
Weather forecast – using it to create your own avalanche forecast for those areas that don’t have one
Researching snow pack history and mountain conditions
Planning your route with a map to avoid avalanche risk

Approaching your walk, climb or ski route

Do the conditions match the forecast – reading actual conditions
Observations on the mountain – reading natures clues

During your route

Understanding the avalanche triangle – Terrain, Weather and Snowpack analysis together with the importance of human factors
Risk reduction and safe travel
Use of risk ladders in making informed decisions
Where is the course held?
We run the course in the Highlands of Scotland from our winter base in Fort William. We are very handy for Ben Nevis, Aonach Mor and Glen Coe and will often make the most of the ski centre chairlifts to maximise the time spent on the snow. When winter conditions allow we may also run this course in Snowdonia and dates are emailed on a last minute basis to those people registered on our mailing list.

Staffing

I hold the MIC (the highest instructional qualification in the UK) and the International Mountain Leader Awards. Not sure what this means – follow this link. I have worked the Scottish winter season every year since 2005.

I have also completed the American Avalanche Association Level 2 course and I am an Alpine Ski Leader. I was a Search Dog handler for 6 years and am a team co-ordinator for Llanberis Mountain Rescue Team. I run all of the avalanche education courses myself.

What about accommodation?

Accommodation is not provided as this allows us to keep the course cost low and you can then arrange accommodation to suit your budget. For a range of accommodation options visit this link.

 

Previous Experience & Fitness

This course is suitable for people with no prior avalanche training. It will also serve as a refresher for those that have and build on existing knowledge.

Whats included?

The course fee includes instruction and the use of any specialist equipment. You can read our “whats included” and kit list page here. We have a limited range of ice axes and crampons which can be lent out on a first come first served basis. If you are looking to buy your own kit for the course then this article I have written may be of help.

When does this course run?

You can view the dates of all of our courses throughout the year on the diary page.

Meeting Place & Time

Once you book we will send you a comprehensive set of course notes and a letter of confirmation, this will include a detailed kit list and details of where and when we meet. The day normally starts at 8:30am in Fort William and finishes in the same place at about 5:00pm.

Other Questions

If you have any questions that you can’t find answers to on the website visit our contact page for details on how to get in touch. We look forward to meeting you!

Join the MTA!

If you join the Mountain Training Association (assuming you are not already a member) you will get a 10% discount on this course, a subscription to the Professional Mountaineer and access to more great discounts and training opportunities. Read more here. Not sure if you are a member? Check here.

Book this Course

To book this course please choose a date from the diary page and then click on the button below to complete our booking form and make payment via Paypal. We require full payment to secure your course space.

View the Diary
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Hi Rob,

Just a quick email. Did my Winter ML assessment and passed with flying colours, thanks to the structure you had given me regarding the avalanche knowledge and approach you had taught me. So I would like to thank you for your input.

I hope Norway is giving you lots of ice to climb.

May see you in Wales over Spring/Summer. If not see you around.

Kev, Avalanche Avoidance - Jan 2016
Hi Rob,

Many thanks for the course last week. I have learnt a lot, and finally have some structure to a decision making process in avalanche terrain.

All the best

Joe, Avalanche Avoidance - Jan 2016