Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Avalanche Skills Training course held in Corner Brook, Newfoundland

   by Keith and Heather Nicol 
Digging snowpits
 On Sunday March 9th , 2014 we wrapped up an Avalanche Skills Training (AST) course which was held in Corner Brook for a group of 7 avid backcountry skiers, snowboarders and snowmobilers. We had a great day for the field work component which involved beacon searching and probe line practice as well as snowpit analysis. We dug 3 separate snowpits on a lee slope where snow depths were around 130-140 cm. We performed a variety of stability tests including a shovel shear, compression, extended column and we even got in a rutschblock test.  Most of the tests showed moderate stability of the snow at the test site. If anyone is interested in more information on avalanche awareness training in Newfoundland then contact Keith Nicol at knicol@grenfell.mun.ca This year the awareness training is being subsided by the Canadian Avalanche Centre (CAC) and includes sessions that run anywhere from 1 hour to 2 days. Thanks to CAC for supporting avalanche awareness training in Newfoundland in the winter of 2014.

Determining the different layers of snow

Many of the tests showed clean fractures within the snow pack

Practicing mock rescues

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