Thursday, 6 March 2014

Avalanche Awareness Presentations to Schools in Western Newfoundland

by Keith and Heather Nicol      
     On March 4 and 5, 2014 we visited 2 schools in Western Newfoundland to do avalanche awareness presentations. These presentations are generally to physical education classes and our first visit was to Gros Morne Academy in Rocky Harbour on March 4th. We gave two 1 hour presentations to a grade 10 and 12 class and we focused on where avalanches have been seen in Gros Morne Park as well as what terrain and snow factors are associated with avalanches. Each student received a handout which summarized this information and we also showed several videos of people’s experiences with avalanches in Gros Morne. We also demonstrated how avalanche beacons work and stressed the importance of carrying a shovel and probe when heading into avalanche terrain.
Talking to students at Gros Morne Academy in Rocky Harbour
  The next day (March 5th) we visited St. Peter’s Academy in Benoit’s Cove and we had around 25 grade 8-9’s attend the talk. In addition looking at the main terrain and snow factors that are associated with avalanches we also looked at where avalanches have occurred just behind the school in the Blow me down Mountains. Two students used the avalanche beacons to find one that was hidden in the classroom and each student received an avalanche awareness handout. 
A girl at St. Peter's Academy searches for a hidden beacon
  If you have a school group or other group that would like a free 1 hour avalanche awareness presentation then contact Keith Nicol at In the past we have done these sessions for snowmobile groups, search and rescue teams and many others.Also if anyone is interested in taking a Level 1 Avalanche Skills Training course then contact Keith Nicol at the above email address. If you would like to see on line maps of where avalanches have been seen in Western Newfoundland as well as other information about avalanches see:   and click on the 2014 Avalanche Awareness Link.

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