After backcountry skiing in Oregon and Washington, where the avalanche risk is pretty low,
I decided I should have a better working knowledge of avalanches now that I'm in the Rockies.
So, I took the AST1 course from the U of C and spent the day at Bow Summit to practice
beacon location, shoveling, snow analysis, and observation.
This is Miles, one of the guides, explaining that the sweet looking line he's pointing to will
probably avalanche 3 times in a year. Note the wind loading on the right side of the slope, which
exposes the rocks below, and wind-loads the face.
This is Peyto Lake, below the area we were skiing. This gets the Paul Perrault stamp of approval
since the view was excellent up the valley towards Jasper.
Our guide took us for a short ski up, after practicing beacon burial, and doing snow analysis in pits.
This is just in front of Mount Jimmy Simpson (I think). The Peyto Hut and the start of the Wapta Traverse
are behind this small range to the right.
This shows a size 1 avalanche that had released in the past few days. The start zone is clearly visible
in the top centre of the photo and the run-out zone ran to the bottom of the gully. We are safely on the
other side of this gully.
This is as far as we traveled. This is me, with a view across to the Bow River valley. I look forward
to more touring around my new home.
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