Safety in the Mountains

by noronaadmin

Greg and Brad climbing

I love winter! The fresh snow and fresh air and ripping through it on a sled or skis is just amazing.

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However all this fun does come at a price. Each year many people become involved in avalanches and some even lose their lives. Totally not worth it in my opinion so the key is education and carrying the right tools and above all to be aware of your surroundings at all times. If you do these things you can go out any day in the mountains and have a great time.

Dave Getting ready to burp the baby-small version

Dave Burping the Baby

When we talk gear, we want the simplist, strongest and most functional gear out there. The reason? Well if the shit hits the fan you won’t be thinking right and so the easier things are to do the easier they will be to do.

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For a beacon I choose the Backcountry Access Tracker. This beacon is simple to use and works amazingly well. I have given this to young kids and adults who have never held a beacon before and they find the hidden beacon quickly! Remember whatever beacon you buy the most important thing you can do is practise, practise and do more practise.

g3 probe

You will also need a probe and shovel and although many people pick up a cheap light probe and shovel I advise against this. The hardest part if someone is involved with an avalanche is digging them out so you want a bomber shovel. Genuine Guide Gear’s avalanche products are top notch and their Avy Tech Shovel is super strong and will plow through anything. The extended shovel handle makes it easy on your back as well. All the probes in G3’s line are amazing but I choose the 320 Speed Carbon Pro. It is light, strong and long enough in case of a deep burial.

shovel

There are many packs on the market and I love the Camelbak Hellion snow pack which is super comfy and has a space for all your safety gear as well as extra clothes and food. I also love the new Osprey Kode 30 Pack from Osprey. It is super light and again has tons of room for all your safety gear and extras.

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The number one thing anyone should do before even thinking about venturing into the mountains is to take a recreational avalanche clinic. This is where you will learn to use all your gear properly and learn about all forms of avalanches and what makes them happen. This way you can read avalanche terrain and make good decisions while you are off in the mountains.

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Visit the Canadian Avalanche web site and take their on-line course to give you an idea of what things you need to be aware of. Again you can hire a guide to take you and your friends out to where you travel or visit one of the many course happening all over the province. There will be a couple of courses up at Brohm Ridge this year with Niko Weis who I think is one of the best avy teachers in the business.

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Well there you have it. Get the Gear, Get the Knowledge and Practise, Practise, Practise. And continue to have fun in the mountains….little D

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