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Old 11-17-2010, 04:33 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Washington State level 1 avalanche courses

I'm pretty much a novice at backcountry stuff, but am determined to get more into it this year. One thing I've wanted to do is a level 1 avy course. I've checked out a few classes and have two in mind: one with the American Alpine Institute and another with Cascade Powder Cats. Does anyone have any input on these two organization or other suggestions I should look at?
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Old 11-17-2010, 04:36 PM   #2 (permalink)
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if the powder cats offer some cat runs with the course i'd go that route.
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Old 11-17-2010, 04:46 PM   #3 (permalink)
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if the powder cats offer some cat runs with the course i'd go that route.
That's kinda what I was thinking. It's a little more in price, but they also provide two nights in the yurt and food.

I know the two final days at the AAI class are outside at Baker, with the last day being a day of hiking for turns.
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Old 11-17-2010, 04:58 PM   #4 (permalink)
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consider this tho.. the cascades are a reletively safe area considering we dont ride above treelines much and the way our conrete setups up is alot different than other higher ranges.. when taking a course around here the conditions usually are not prime avalanche conditions to learn from.. but i think its still important to learn no matter where u are.

are you lazy?
do you like to hike for turns?
how much $$ you got?
do you already have beacon, probe, shovel or do u need to $$$ purchase still?
things to help make your decision

P.S. $$$$ way to much to cat ski tearrain similar to stevens pass.. i'd never goto any cat operation in the cascades.. IMO.. but an avy class and cat trip could still be pretty fun.
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Old 11-18-2010, 09:26 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Either of them will do. The cat trip actually sounds pretty nice. Hut/Yurt trips are always a blast. Even with bad snow conditions I have never had a bad hut trip. Cascade's Yurt sounds freakin' plush. Just don't forget to bring ear plugs. Trust me on that one.

The avy danger in the Cascades is definitely a lot different than say here in Colorado. A maritime snow pack versus a Continental snow pack. It's a lot easier to read in Washington. Still, when the avy danger goes off there, it really goes off. You still need to know how to evaluate the snow and travel in it. A good level 1 avy course should help prepare you for the type of terrain and snow you experience in your area. Both of the guys listed should do that for you.
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Old 11-24-2010, 11:22 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Thanks for all the input guys! I've already got a cat trip planned later this season to Big Red Cats in BC, so I wouldn't really be choosing the cat course JUST to get some cat boarding in. More for the overall experience of being out there in the elements and staying in the yurt. Probably gonna make my decision pretty soon here so I can make sure I can book the weekend I want.
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Old 11-24-2010, 03:04 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Good thread. I need to get a level 1 cert course scheduled for myself and my buddies too.
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Old 11-24-2010, 06:02 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Good thread. I need to get a level 1 cert course scheduled for myself and my buddies too.
What classes have you looked into so far?
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Old 11-24-2010, 09:16 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Ones I've looked at previously were from Ridge Explorations and Mountaineers. I know there are others though. Just been talking it over with friends here and there, but kinda hard to coordinate with everyone's schedules and finances. Plus some guys have all their avy gear, some have yet to get any, and those in-between too. Ideally would like to take something before end of the yr though.
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