The Eastern Backcountry Accreditation consists of three different courses.  The first course, Snow Sense and Planning, is a five-part webinar series.  The second and third courses in the Backcountry Accreditation, Collecting Data and Putting It All Together, are each two-day courses that are typically held at Maple Wind Farm in January and March.

Snow Sense and Planning

The first event in the Backcountry Accreditation, Snow Sense and Planning, is currently offered in a five-part webinar series.

This course covers the following topics:

  1. Avalanche Awareness: Weather, Snowpack, Terrain, Aspect
  2. Safe Travel and Rescue: Transceiver, Probe, Shovel, Route decisions, Reading snowpack
  3. Snow Analysis: Hasty, analysis along the route, Pit Analysis, Pit Tools and Reporting, Physics and Chemistry of Snowpack
  4. Orienteering: Bearing/Check, Pace, Reading Features, Maps, Triangulation, GPS and Phone
  5. Equipment/Clothing/Fuel-H2O/Athleticism: Discipline equipment, Skinning and equipment, Moisture Management, Endurance Pacing and Ability

Participants must attend all five webinars and fulfill the assigned assessments to receive six continuing education credits.


Collecting Data

During the two days, participants will put into practice what they learned in the webinar series. Topics will include: packing, equipment prep, hydration, food, course, orienteering, analyzing snow conditions and safety scenarios. Use of transceivers for pinpointing subjects will be reviewed as well as uphill and downhill techniques. Participants will analyze various situations and make decisions based on the information obtained. Includes small party rescue situations, traveling safely and addressing the effects from weather conditions.

Expect to be outside for 6-8 hrs. each day. Participants should be on Alpine Touring, Nordic or Split Board equipment.


Putting It All Together

The third course focuses on group activities including equipment checks and group travel in relation to food and hydration, route selection and safety. Participants will be using their newly acquired skills to make decisions and manage safety scenarios. An assessment at the end of the day will evaluate their progress. One of the days, we will be ascending to 4000 ft., weather permitting. Participants should be on Alpine Touring, Nordic or Split Board equipment.

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