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Friends of the San Juans: On-Snow Session on Lizard Head Pass

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Join us for the Friends of the San Juans on the Snow Avalanche Awareness Session at Lizard Head Pass



Course Details:

  • Saturday, December 1, 2018

  • 10:00am-3:00pm

  • Lizard Head Pass on CO-145

Course Description:

  • In a 5 hour field session, participants will be able to apply the basic concepts covered in our classroom session, including preparation & communication, terrain recognition & avoidance, smart travel protocol, basic snowpack understanding, and safety gear use.

Course Outcomes:

  • Understand the importance of group dynamics, communication, and decision making

  • Identify avalanche terrain based on slope angle, including terrain traps and gullies

  • Understand the complexity of snowpack and layering

  • Learn basic smart travel protocol

  • Beacon, probe and shovel basics with practice

  • Witness a successful companion rescue demonstration

  • Understand what we don’t know

Participants in FOSJ’s On-Snow Session must meet all of the following requirements:

  1. Have attended one of FOSJ’s Avalanche Awareness Classroom Sessions in the current season

  2. Have the minimum required safety equipment—beacon, probe, shovel, pack

  3. Have sufficient uphill winter travel gear by one of the following methods: AT/Tele setup with climbing skins; split board setup with climbing skins; backcountry nordic/hybrid skis with metal edges and fish scales; snowshoes

  4. Be in moderate physical shape—although we will not be going on any extended tour or even that far from the parking area, throughout the day you will be exerting energy while traveling through variable terrain and snow conditions as well as practicing with rescue gear and digging.

  5. Participants must register in advance online via this eventbrite site. There are a limited number of spots available, and it is on a first come first served basis. Please register only if you are 100% committed.

  6. Liability Waiver form must be completed, signed and dated and turned in on the day of the course. This form will be emailed to all participants after registration is completed.

Participants must be comfortable traveling in variable backcountry conditions that may include ice, deep snow, thin spots and some uphill routes. Due to these constraints, we are UNABLE to accommodate for boot packing, conventional Nordic/skate skis, toboggans, saucers, sleds, or snowlerblades. Pine Needle Mountaineering rents AT/Tele setups as well as snowshoes, with FOSJ members receiving a 20% discount.

In the morning, participants will be broken up into groups of no more than 5 students. You will be led by one of FOSJ’s Lead Instructors, plus an additional Assistant Instructor. These Instructors are there to make sure everyone in the group feels comfortable, is engaged & participating, and has a good time. Your active participation and questions are welcomed! Instructors have been trained on topics that will need to be covered throughout the day. All Instructors have met strict requirements set forth by both FOSJ and the American Avalanche Association (AAA) for their experience and teaching ability. For your safety, our Lead Instructors are also certified in Wilderness First Aid or higher.

We ask that you are totally geared up and ready to go no later than 10:00am. Please come prepared to be outside for the entire day. We ask that you bring your own supply of water, food, clothing, sunscreen, etc. If you have a first aid kit, inclinometer, or any other cool avalanche tools or gadgets, please bring them! We will debrief and wrap things up by 3:00pm. Please carpool with your friends and colleagues as parking is limited.

Registered students will receive a follow up email confirming registration with additional information and liability waiver. We look forward to spending the day with you!