Avalanche Top Page

Jim Frankenfield

Avalanche Safety Courses and Services

1338 Foothill Dr. #170; Salt Lake City, UT 84108
1-877-604-0166; jim@mountain-guiding.com

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Level 1 Avalanche Course - Climbers Version

There is a climbers version of the online Level 1 course available now, typically emphasized in spring. It is free to anyone with a current Level 1 certification, or if it is taken at its lower cost that cost may then be applied to the full version the following season. All of the latest information will be found in the Avalanche Institute.

A traditional version may still be set up upon request, or variations such as one day climbing leader clinics for clubs.

This is a modified version of the standard basic course.

This version has an emphasis on human factors which apply to climbing.

Route choices are often more committing with fewer options once on-route than skiers typically have. Decisions must often be based on conditions above which cannot be examined first-hand. Exposure time to the hazard and the potential consequences are often very high. Goal orientation is inherently a part of climbing. These factors and others will be be emphasized in the climbers version.

No ski or snowboard travel skills are assumed for field days. Count on using snowshoes, or boots and crampons, depending on conditions.

A Note on the History and Availability of this version ...

This was originally developed and taught in conjunction with the Oregon Mountaineering Association, which offered it once each spring with multiple experienced climbers co-instructing. Unfortunately it was shut down for political reasons by the Forest Service in a manner which made it clear that they will not tolerate it being held anymore in any capacity. At least in the traditional format - they have little control over online education which does not take place on their lands. (This was done, coincidentally, just months before one of their own employees set up his own private sector avalanche school. After years of running the course with no problems. Their former employee now has a defacto monopoly.) In the American Avalanche Association "Avalanche Review" in 2004 there was an education "brainstorming" report which listed the need for a climbing-specific class, which is a bit ironic considering that the Forest Service is one of the more dominant forces in that organization. As of 2011 nobody else has taken and action on offering anything climbing specific, as far as I know.

The contributions of the OMA co-instructors to the Level 1 course in general and the climbers version in particular are acknowledged and greatly appreciated.

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