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Crystal Mtn Backcountry

Avalanche Education Season A Great Success!

From the desk of Jere­my Allyn, North­west Pro­gram Director:

Greet­ings from Moun­tain Mad­ness. We want to extend a hearty thanks to all that joined us on an avalanche edu­ca­tion course this win­ter- it was by any mea­sure a great sea­son thanks to your efforts out in the field! And I want­ed to take a moment to per­son­al­ly sing the prais­es of our avalanche course instruc­tors who are about to wrap up a fan­tas­tic sea­son of work.

The lat­est round of eval­u­a­tions from last week­end’s Lev­el 1 course were just too good and too glow­ing to not pass on a few tid-bits. Among the many praise-wor­thy com­ments and superla­tives from our stu­dents, a few stand out: ener­gy and enthu­si­asm is con­ta­gious;” easy going and method­i­cal;” fun, inter­ac­tive, awe­some, and an epic teacher;” impres­sive cov­er­age for a short course;” pace was intense.” Hav­ing taught many cours­es over the years, I know first-hand how chal­leng­ing avalanche edu­ca­tion can be. Teach­ing in the class­room, mov­ing stu­dents through com­pli­cat­ed ter­rain, explain­ing tricky con­cepts like per­sis­tent weak lay­ers or ski­er trig­ger­ing — MM staff do it all, and do it all real­ly well. 

Post storm ski­ing. Jere­my Allyn photo

This week we are in the midst of anoth­er series of avalanche warn­ings here in the Pacif­ic North­west — win­ter is def­i­nite­ly not over. In the last four days, most moun­tain sites in the Olympics and Cas­cades have received over 4 feet of snow. Mt. Bak­er Ski area has a 94 inch storm total four the last 5 days! Suf­fice it to say, I took the day off from work yes­ter­day and went ski­ing… So just because our sched­uled AIARE avy cours­es are com­ing to an end, that does­n’t mean our staff (and hope­ful­ly you too) will be ski­ing, climb­ing and trav­el­ing in avalanche ter­rain for many months to come. We are ready and will­ing to run a cus­tom avalanche course for you and your bud­dies, your club or orga­ni­za­tion — any time this late win­ter and spring. Clas­sic ski tour­ing and ski descents are out there — Bak­er, Rainier, Wash­ing­ton Pass. Let’s go! 

Solo tracks. Jere­my Allyn photo

So, here’s a shout out and big thank you to our staff: Tino, Mark, Ian, Jonathon, Lee, Lau­ra, Alas­dair, Dan and Scott. Thanks for Mak­ing it Hap­pen!” And thanks again to all of our amaz­ing stu­dents this sea­son — see you out there!

Jere­my Allyn
North Amer­i­ca Pro­gram Director

Joe Stock scop­ing lines. Jere­my Allyn photo