Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Avalanche Awareness Sessions in W. Newfoundland

by Keith and Heather Nicol
School visit in Benoit's Cove
       Again this year the Canadian Avalanche Foundation and Canadian Avalanche Centre are providing funding and other assistance for avalanche awareness programmes in Western Newfoundland.  Typically this funding is used to provide schools, Search and Rescue groups, snowmobile and other user groups (like backcountry skiers/snowshoers) with training. As well for those interested in more training Avalanche Skills Training (AST) Level 1 courses are offered. So far this winter, sessions have been run at the Pasadena Nordic Ski Club and Whaleback Nordic Ski Club in Stephenville.  As well, 2 You Tube videos have been produced and they can be viewed below.  In addition, on January 10, 2013 we did a ski tour into the Blow Me Down valley to look at the snow stability in that part of the Blow me down Mountains. On that date on a run called Market Gully we found close to 2 meters of snow and very good stability. There was anywhere from 2-20 cm of fresh snow to ski and the blog of that trip can be viewed at:
Digging a snowpit in an AST course
      For anyone or group interested in booking an avalanche awareness session or for more information please contact Keith Nicol at or .  Avalanche maps of Western Newfoundland can be viewed at: or if you want more information on avalanches in Newfoundland see: 
     If you see avalanches in your travels please send any pictures and location information to Keith Nicol at  Also don’t travel alone and avoid steep slopes when the snow is unstable. Also a special thanks to Genuine Guide Gear ( for providing avalanche equipment for use in these avalanche awareness sessions.





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