Avalanche Skills Level 1
We first did an uneventful day of classroom training at the University of Calgary. Later in the day we picked up some gear we rented from the outdoor club and headed out passing by the Olympic ice oval. I hadn't seen it before so we poked our head in and who was the first person we saw but Catriona Le May Doan, the fastest skater in the world!
The field class was at Bow Summit, north of Lake Louise on the Icefields Parkway. The hike on snowshoes from the highway up through the trees onto the summit pitch was really gorgeous. Along the way we learned some terrain recognition, how to make snow pits to assess the snow pack and of course avalanche rescue. Its a delicate art using the beacons quickly in waist deep snow.
As you can see from the pictures, there was lots of snow making me wish I was skiing rather than schoolin! In the first picture of the two of us, you can just make out the frozen Peyto Lake. In winter it sleeps off a summer of millions of tourists gawking at its milky green colour. On the way home we stopped in Banff for coffee with friends while we let the ski hill crowd cluster the highway back to Calgary. All in all, a fun weekend in spite of the serious and sometimes scary subject mater.