Archive:Avalanche Course 2004

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February 2004

Organiser: James Floyer

The course was run through Canada West Mountain School (CWMS) 604 878 7007 - they do a group rate for clubs if you book one or more complete courses. We did a 2.5 day custom course, held over a weekend with two 2.5 hour evening classroom sessions, one before the weekend and one after. Each course can have 8 people and it is the club's responsibility to fill the courses and get payment. It is good value if you can get multiples of 8 (i.e. if you only have 7 then the full price is split 7 ways rather than 8).

CWMS will ask for the full price of the course in advance. The way I did it last year was to get the AMS to write a cheque for the courses (we had 2 last year) and then the individual students paid the money in to the VOC. This step took quite a bit of time to arrange, as the cheque needed approval from a comittee. Its important to get the students to pay the money early (i.e. to fully commit) otherwise there will be a problem with people pulling out at the last minute, which either is bad for the others on the course or the VOC.

The feedback that I got from last year was that it was pretty good. Everyone ended up going to Whistler on Sunday in the end, which added the price of one Whistler lift ticket onto the price of the course (the first day was at Seymour, which was included in the price). Car pooling is necessary to get to Seymour / Whistler. The more advanced group enjoyed it more than the beginner group. There were a couple of students on the beginner group who were poor skiers, so they spent more time just trying to get around and less time talking about avalanche hazard.

It is necessary to book a room for the pre- and post- weekend classroom sessions, which needs to be done at least a week in advance. They need a LCD and a VCR.

CWMS provided beacons, probes and shovels but no ski gear or clothing.