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Old 02-03-2014, 12:11 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Avalanche Awareness effort

So my son is at it again. He wants to take his level 1, which I am willing to pay for.... He also wants all of his riding partners to take it too. Being that we all basically live check to check it is unattainable for most of them. I luckily have a little breathing room at each check, a lot of them don't.

Anyway, he started a fundraiser to try to help get the whole group into a class together. If it goes well with the fundraiser he wants to start another one to donate the classes to other youth in the area. Him and all our friends were pretty stricken when Tony died and he wants to try to do something.... Anything to get people more educated.

Take a look and if it interests you then please share with your friends too, donate if you can.

Avalanche Education/Safety by Matthew Walence - GoFundMe
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Old 02-04-2014, 10:18 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Good for your son and his friends. This is a lifetime journey. Don't forget to remind them that this is a marathon not a race.
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Old 02-04-2014, 10:20 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Me and a couple other friends had to talk some of them down off the ledge yesterday. A few were wanting to hit east Vail.... Matt told them they were all stupid, funny when a 14 year old tells them and they think twice, lol
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Old 02-04-2014, 10:33 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I'm all for avy awareness...and well aware of the funding issues for families and youth. But I also think, its a big responsibility for going bc and going steep and deep....thus my tendency is...you young folk...got to earn it to respect it...cause its your shit. And if you want to do it, that's great....but what's your plan that you are going to do to make it happen...and I will gladly advise or consult with you about your plan....but money...you got to earn it. Just my opinion, but Matt has the gumption and yeah for him.
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Old 02-04-2014, 10:40 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I'm fine paying for my son to do this. The other guys that go are basically working to eat and pay rent. They all, including my son has read every book our library has on avalanche and backcountry traveling. They have tried as much as possible to learn from the friends we have that are certified. They all have their gear(beacon, probe, shovel). The biggest tool you have is your brain. Airbags and beacons won't magically help them, none have airbags, too pricey. the more we can do to educate these younger people the more we can help them. The next course that they will go to is a summer wildlife first aid/rescue.

It's just an effort to try to help these kids(teens and twenties) expand their knowledge base and know why it's a bad day vs a good day... Hell even why it's ok at 11am but not at 1pm.
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Old 02-04-2014, 10:50 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Btw, and this is a personal gripe, but unless your friends have done a L3 they are not certified. All taking a L1 or L2 course does is guarantee that you slept through it. There is no pass/fail component to the course. That doesn't happen until L3 where you spend $800 and then fail the course at the end if you are not extremely practiced.

Regardless, most people do a lot more than sleep through the course, it just isn't a certification. For the record I have done through my Level 2. Pretty sure I didn't sleep through them, but I am also not certified.

With the terrain in East Vail, Airbags would be of small help a lot of the time. Avoidance is the only sure fire tool. Sounds boring, but yet a lot of fun can be had with experience.

I can go on and on. I think it is worthy and I am tired of bodies being pulled out of the backcountry. One is too many. This was worth $20 of my money. I would just probably piss it away on something else that would have much less of an impact anyway.

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Old 02-04-2014, 10:57 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Around here, there are very few folks under 18-20 doing bc...unless having been raised on the hill and are starting to go with bc savvy parents. And I think its a good thing. But a lot of folks at 20+ have the gear and hopefully have taken the class or are planning to....and most have gone out with their buds...that hopefully have had avy classes...but that is questionable. When I took my avy class last winter it was really stressed...this is the beginning...start by going out with known folks that have had a lot of experience and learn from them. But its knowledge and lots EXPERIENCE...and each local has its own particular dragons.
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Old 02-04-2014, 10:57 AM   #8 (permalink)
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They are level 3 and on the avalanche crew, one at breck(a route leader) and one at vail. Forgot to mention we get to stand by as they throw ordinance for avy mitigation, bombs are cool, especially when it's tossed by a cutie....

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Old 02-04-2014, 11:06 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wrathfuldeity View Post
Around here, there are very few folks under 18-20 doing bc...unless having been raised on the hill and are starting to go with bc savvy parents. And I think its a good thing. But a lot of folks at 20+ have the gear and hopefully have taken the class or are planning to....and most have gone out with their buds...that hopefully have had avy classes...but that is questionable. When I took my avy class last winter it was really stressed...this is the beginning...start by going out with known folks that have had a lot of experience and learn from them. But its knowledge and lots EXPERIENCE...and each local has its own particular dragons.

I agree and I go along or take him new places but he is way above my riding level/desire, I go around stuff and show him dangers and signs to look for that we have both read about and been shown. He is young and this is part of mtn life, if he is with 2-3 others and even one of them sees a sign that the others missed then it could save them all. I won't back away from a chance taken to get some others educated. Even 20-30 is young, they have a whole life and family ahead of them. I will also be doing the courses with them.

No chance or opportunity is perfect or fool proof but at least we will be making some effort to help. There are a lot more people going into the back country and the more we can do to educate the more likely we are to at least keep the deaths per year as low as they currently are and not rise with back country use rates rising.

Thanks killz for your. Support and feedback. Appreciate your feedback also wrath.
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Old 02-04-2014, 11:11 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Wrath, your points are dead on. Probably the most dangerous person out there is your newly minted L1 graduate. A lot of knowledge, no experience. It takes time for sure. The experience part happens quickly enough. I am still learning, always will be. You still got to take those first steps.

Local knowledge of your haunts is an awesome tool. I am much more comfortable at Bert than say if I was visiting East Vail. A spot I have looked at but have not traveled in. My choices back there would be very limited in comparison to someone who has traveled the area for years and knows the hazards. It is just the way it is.
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