Courage cannot be approached with caution

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


One of the biggest stressors in my life recently is now over.  I just returned from Salt Lake City, UT after completing the Level 3 Avalanche Course; which I had been studying and preparing for since August of last year.  The Level 3 is a 6 day, 60 hour course that is half field based and half classroom based focusing on decision making and avalanche forecasting.  It culminates with a 60 minute snow profile examination, a beacon drill where you need to find 3 buried transceivers in under 7 minutes, and a final written exam.  The course also heavily weighs on documentation to SWAG (Snow Weather and Avalanche Guidelines) standards, terrain management, and stability anaylsis.

I'm now home, back in boulder, but not for long.  The life of a Mountain Guide is never dull.  On friday I'm leaving for the ice climbing mecca of Canmore, Alberta.  I have 10 days of climbing followed by a 2 examination of ice guiding skills.  I feel fortunate to have completed the Level 3 course and now get to be rewarded by a (mostly) personal trip to the Canadian Rockies.  Here's a quick look at the kit I'll be climbing with......