When do you need avalanche certification/gear? - Snowboarding Forum - Snowboard Enthusiast Forums
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-12-2012, 09:54 AM Thread Starter
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When do you need avalanche certification/gear?

Hey guys, I was just dreaming about powder and going out west and things, when I thought: when do you actually need avalanche gear and training? Do you need it for the forests beside the resort, where no one patrols, but there's quite a few people? Or only for when you're going onto the backcountry?

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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-12-2012, 10:03 AM
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If you get over a foot of fresh anywhere over 30 degree slope that isn't regularly groomed, is known to have tree wells, is known to slide.... regardless of in or out of bounds it would be safer to have it than not.

Just don't ride around a resort in November after a 2" snow with a backpack, probe, beacon and shovel. That's stupid and I have seen it here, I told the guys they were idiots and they got upset.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-12-2012, 10:04 AM
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Fyi, out here, West, there were a few in bounds deaths from avys this year. Tree wells are more late season issue in the Rockies but serious year round in the PNW
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-12-2012, 10:06 AM
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-12-2012, 10:13 AM
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Treewells and minor avalanches do exist in bounds, so there is always the risk. I don't really think you need to take an avalanche class to ride inbounds, but some knowledge of what to do in bad situations is a must. Maybe more importantly respect ski patrol closures and warnings (most of the deaths lately have been people ducking ropes).

Shit happens, I dug a guy headfirst waistdeep in powder out last season who was suffocating, right in the middle of a designated run (one that wasn't used very often).

PowderHound and TreeNinja
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-12-2012, 08:34 PM
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when you start heading out of bounds and dont know the area well is when it is probably a good idea to get rescue trained and possibly avalanche trained. it is un likley though that on a trip out west you venture out far enough to where you will be caught in a BC avalanche.

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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-12-2012, 08:37 PM
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The second you are outside of the resort boundary you are in avalanche terrain.

A basic avalanche awareness course should be more than enough for you to learn the objective hazards. If backcountry riding becomes something you want to pursue, than you should take a Level I.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-12-2012, 09:14 PM
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The second you are outside of the resort boundary you are in avalanche terrain.

A basic avalanche awareness course should be more than enough for you to learn the objective hazards. If backcountry riding becomes something you want to pursue, than you should take a Level I.
QFT I was going to take a trip to Alaska next year, but changed it because I don't have the money or time for the training and gear. I wanted to go out of bounds because that is the real experience, but it is a death sentence without the right gear and knowledge. NEVER go out of bounds without the proper things.

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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-12-2012, 09:26 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the answers. I'll get better at safe pow, and then maybe someday I'll be doing thngs that warrent training someday...
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-12-2012, 11:01 PM
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Originally Posted by glm View Post
Hey guys, I was just dreaming about powder and going out west and things, when I thought: when do you actually need avalanche gear and training? Do you need it for the forests beside the resort, where no one patrols, but there's quite a few people? Or only for when you're going onto the backcountry?

Thanks
glm
Where you thinking of going? I moved out from Hamilton to Calgary this year, and after years of riding blue mountain with the occasional trip to Jay, Tremblant, Fernie, etc. I was a little worried about riding the rockies every weekend.

I've taken pictures almost every day I've been out this year, and one of the first things that caught my attention was how active the patrol is at avy control. I've been riding at Fernie while they've been bombing the bowls from a chopper, same with Sunshine and Lake Louise. There are signs all over the place in bounds showing you where to stay the hell away from, and I listen to those signs.

After hearing about all the avy deaths every year, I'd want to either have the training myself, or be with a highly skilled guide (as snowolf suggested) for any backcountry adventures I might do one day. For now I'll stay in bounds and hope that the patrollers have made the hill relatively safe, and I'll try to stay away from the tree wells and other scarey shit inbounds. Although the scarey shit is some of the best stuff on the mountains!
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