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Avalanche transceiver training courses

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
All,

I want to do more powder/off piste skiing next season - obviously there's no point in buying avi gear until I'm competent to use it so I need to get some training on using transceivers, probes etc.
Could I have some recommendations please on course providers please as I would like to get one organised for early next season?

Do the courses comprise just avi training only or can they be combined with a week's skiing?

Thanks

Adam
ski holidays     
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
I did mine years ago in whistler where it was free, nowadays looks like they charge for it, but it was an excellent course. Might be a bit far to go! We combined off piste skiing with slope assessment, transceivers etc. Even got to play with the avalanche dog.

Whilst using the toys is fun and gets a lot of attention, one bit of training you can easily do on your own is learning/practicing how to shift a cubic metre of dense snow. Not as sexy as all the other avi training and kit that gets so much attention on here, but it’s much more time consuming than the search process. If you have a summer beach holiday, it’s a great chance to practice!
snow conditions     
 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
I notice you're going on the EoSB...

I did a free afternoon of basic avi training there a couple years ago and it was a great start. I've not been back yet so I can't say for certain wether it happens every year, but there's a good chance as the consensus when I was there was that it was very successful and should be repeated regularly. When the guiding and lessons go up nearer the time you'll see buttons for it, or perhaps PM admin to ask if it's planned for this year.
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@ElDiablo, When you finally buy your avalanche equipment, you need to practice with your transceiver as they all have slightly different search characteristics. I highly recommend finding someone else with a transceiver and carrying out practice searches at home. If doing this try and find a 30 degree slope or higher, as you will rarely be searching a flat area.
snow report     
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@ElDiablo, Many courses will focus on transceivers work, probes and digging... Good fun while doing it as practice, but sometimes it is lost that the primary goal of training should be to teach us how to avoid triggering avalanches. As more than 90% of avalanches are triggered by the victims themselves, and less than 30% of buried victims are saved, that is where focus should be. If you get a chance to talk to the course people before deciding, ask them about the details of what they teach. Enjoy!
snow conditions     
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You'll need to Register first of course.
@Engelberg, Great point too frequently ignored. Using the transceiver the probe and the shovel are important.
Sadly this is the very final phase of an incident which preferably would not occur. It should be understood that when in the dig phase you could easily be recovering a dead friend!
I have done much touring and avalanche awareness with ISM (International School Mountaineering). One or the regular mountain guides had a really good presentation on his lap - top. The tutorial went through planning, route selection, weather, snow science. Rescue protocol, transceivers, probes and digging!
The whole presentation could last half an hour or three hours depending on how much discussion was generated on the various points.
The final screen caption had a simple message.

GETTING AVALANCHED IS NOT AN OPTION
ski holidays     
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
All,

thanks very much for your replies. I'll keep my eyes open for any AVI training available on the EOSB.

@Engelburg and Rodgerdodger, yes good points I will also be looking at attending a course that helps me to understand dangerous conditions, routes and terrain before exposing myself.

I am an Occupational Health and Safety Professional, so I fully understand the notion of avoiding or eliminating risks to prevent accidents before they happen. I've been training and mentoring employees and implementing safe systems of work using this methodology for a number of years, so I'm more than happy to practice what I preach.
snow conditions     
 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
I did the avalanche foundation and progression courses over 2 days last year here http://avalancheacademy.com/, which were absolutely excellent. Mountain Tracks also offer courses I think.
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Next Autumn I'll probably run a practice session at our local slope (West Midlands) for anyone who's interested. Whenever I do one of these there is always something to learn.

I'm also looking at presenting a 'primer' evening on avalanche safety\avoidance if there is enough interest.


@ElDiablo, Buy the kit now.
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
Once you have the training and got your own transceiver. Is there a recommendation, should you wear it all the time? well, I mean when you are skiing. I know there is something in thee rules of skiing about taking it off in the bar. Is it a good habit to have?
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
@ElDiablo,
buy the kit, read the instructions, and practice.
SCGB and others do 'intro' sessions - and as others suggested, find a friend who has one and practice searching.
If you're on an 'organised' offpiste trip, any guide would look favourably on a request for a practice session... IMHO the coarse searching is generally done well, the fine search and probe is where time is lost..... and as others have pointed out, not much practice on efficient digging. have a browse through the 'offpiste' forum.... - the Pyrenees video is _very_ instructional!

@wakkitt,
not sure about 'in the bar', but do keep it on (worn and working) at lunch, so you don't forget to turn it on...

@Rogerdodger,
yes, but there's no point having 'recovery' tools if you don't know how to use them.
ski holidays     
 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
I spend most of my time skiing wearing my transceiver and carrying shovel and probe. I'm always looking for something fun to ski so even if it's a "piste" day, if i spot some untouched snow I wnat to be able to go and have a look. I'd feel a right tit if I got caught in a slip and all my kit was back at the hotel/chalet/car.

I don't really care what others think but I do take it off before going into a bar. I'm not a SCGB member.......
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
galpinos wrote:
I spend most of my time skiing wearing my transceiver and carrying shovel and probe. I'm always looking for something fun to ski so even if it's a "piste" day, if i spot some untouched snow I wnat to be able to go and have a look. I'd feel a right tit if I got caught in a slip and all my kit was back at the hotel/chalet/car.

I don't really care what others think but I do take it off before going into a bar. I'm not a SCGB member.......


^This - although sadly I think that the "look at me" games now has higher stakes judging by the number of people who seem to rent an avalanche airbag backpack but do not want the transceiver/shovel/probe ...
latest report     
 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
wakkitt wrote:
Once you have the training and got your own transceiver. Is there a recommendation, should you wear it all the time? well, I mean when you are skiing. I know there is something in thee rules of skiing about taking it off in the bar. Is it a good habit to have?


Hey, how's it going?

I tend to wear my all the time, as others have said you never know when you'll want to drop off the side of a piste.

A guide a few years ago told a sobering tale about someone being killed in a small avalanche when he tried to ski up a short slope to join a piste from an off piste area. The slope was only about 10ft high, and was directly beside a piste and under a chairlift. Lots of people saw it happen, but none of them had the gear, and by the time properly equipped people arrived it was too late.

Keep it on at lunch, and turned on too so that you don't forget it for the afternoon. The bar is up to you - you might need to let everyone know how good you are!


Last edited by You know it makes sense. on Sat 16-03-19 13:20; edited 1 time in total
ski holidays     
 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
AndAnotherThing.. wrote:
Next Autumn I'll probably run a practice session at our local slope (West Midlands) for anyone who's interested. Whenever I do one of these there is always something to learn.

I'm also looking at presenting a 'primer' evening on avalanche safety\avoidance if there is enough interest.


@ElDiablo, Buy the kit now.


Hi @AndAnotherThing, I'm in the West Mids so would be very interested in attending anything you organise.
Pleaes pm me when you have dates in mind.
snow conditions     
 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I was always told switch your transceiver on when you first put it on in your room in the morning and don't switch it off until you get back in the evening.

I would normally keep it on in a bar at the end of day, simply because I think that would be the safest place for it.
latest report     
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
[quote="oui4ski"]
galpinos wrote:

^This - although sadly I think that the "look at me" games now has higher stakes judging by the number of people who seem to rent an avalanche airbag backpack but do not want the transceiver/shovel/probe ...


Perhaps they already have the holy trinity so only need to rent the airbag.
snow report     
 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
OwenM wrote:
...Perhaps they already have the holy trinity so only need to rent the airbag.

Seems likely to me.

I'm not often asked for fashion advice, but I am a poser...
transceivers are ten a penny, there are no points to be gained from them any more.

As someone said, put it on, check it, then never touch it until you change out of the gear.
That way you just forget about it, and people in bars can think whatever they like.

If you have to take it off to go to the bathroom, then you need to check it again, but it's better to
arrange things so that's not needed.
ski holidays     
 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
Thanks All, so wearing it all the time it is.

@Tom Doc, like you said it wouldn't be apparent from my skiing if I am any good at all Very Happy . So in the pub between a wearing a transceiver and my "I have skied with a 10" t-shirt (your good self) I should be ok. Cool
snow report     
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
[quote="OwenM"]
oui4ski wrote:
galpinos wrote:

^This - although sadly I think that the "look at me" games now has higher stakes judging by the number of people who seem to rent an avalanche airbag backpack but do not want the transceiver/shovel/probe ...


Perhaps they already have the holy trinity so only need to rent the airbag.


My sources in resort sadly tell me that this is optimistic - they are generally not interested in the transceiver/shovel/probe (even though it costs nothing extra to rent these).


Last edited by Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do. on Fri 15-03-19 15:57; edited 1 time in total
snow conditions     
 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
Just to add I see that Sportpursuit have a sale for Dakine ski backpacks
ski holidays     
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
[quote="oui4ski"]
OwenM wrote:
oui4ski wrote:
galpinos wrote:

^This - although sadly I think that the "look at me" games now has higher stakes judging by the number of people who seem to rent an avalanche airbag backpack but do not want the transceiver/shovel/probe ...


Perhaps they already have the holy trinity so only need to rent the airbag.


My sources in resort sadly tell me that this is optimistic - they are generally not interested in the transceiver/shovel/probe (even though it costs nothing extra to rent these).


Speaking for myself only, I do have shovel, probe and transceiver, I don't own an airbag don't have that much money. When I need/want one I hire one, I only need the backpack so that's all I take. The crowd I ski with are in the same boat.
I just can't justify spending 4 - £500 on something that's only going to be used for a couple of weeks a year.
ski holidays     
 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@ElDiablo, Will do. We're trying to get some events together to help our local slope, I'd imagine Nov Dec time
ski holidays     
 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
AndAnotherThing.. wrote:
@ElDiablo, Will do. We're trying to get some events together to help our local slope, I'd imagine Nov Dec time


Excellent, look forward to it.
snow report     
 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
wakkitt wrote:
Thanks All, so wearing it all the time it is.

@Tom Doc, like you said it wouldn't be apparent from my skiing if I am any good at all Very Happy . So in the pub between a wearing a transceiver and my "I have skied with a 10" t-shirt (your good self) I should be ok. Cool


T-shirts! Now there's an idea!
snow conditions     
 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
[quote="OwenM"]
oui4ski wrote:
OwenM wrote:
oui4ski wrote:
galpinos wrote:

^This - although sadly I think that the "look at me" games now has higher stakes judging by the number of people who seem to rent an avalanche airbag backpack but do not want the transceiver/shovel/probe ...


Perhaps they already have the holy trinity so only need to rent the airbag.


My sources in resort sadly tell me that this is optimistic - they are generally not interested in the transceiver/shovel/probe (even though it costs nothing extra to rent these).


Speaking for myself only, I do have shovel, probe and transceiver, I don't own an airbag don't have that much money. When I need/want one I hire one, I only need the backpack so that's all I take. The crowd I ski with are in the same boat.
I just can't justify spending 4 - £500 on something that's only going to be used for a couple of weeks a year.


^Yup - that's what we do (and will continue to do until the prices come down a bit)!
snow report     
 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Anyone know of there’s ever any training in Scotland - either at the indoor slope at Braehead or at ski centres?

Did a few days of inbounds off piste with a guide in Canada this year and loved it but suspect if want to do equivalent in Europe would need to be fully equipped with gear and know how to use it.

Quite fancy some proper back country when eventually get back to Canada too.

Also fancy trying the back carries at Nevis one day
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
[quote="BlueSky"]I did the avalanche foundation and progression courses over 2 days last year here http://avalancheacademy.com/, which were absolutely excellent. Mountain Tracks also offer courses I think.[/quote

2nd this. I did the course and learnt a lot. Thoroughly enjoyed it. Also quite sobering doing the practice rescue. Stress was rising and we knew it was a rucksack, not a body. Highly worthwhile.

In terms of when to wear the tranciever, I bought the kit so I take it every day. Not just to protect myself should I head off, which of course requires someone to be your backup, but also in a 'karma' mindset that if I witness a slide perhaps I could respond. Without the gear I'd be useless even after some training.
snow report     
 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
I’ll be at the EoSB teaching snowboarding, but I’m also very happy to run transceiver / avalanche safety training - I’m an International Mountain Leader as well as a top-level instructor. Let me know if people are keen - not sure what else might be happening with off-piste guiding, etc.
ski holidays     
 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@stevomcd Yes I would certainly be interested .
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@stevomcd, I'd be interested depending on time/day and what else I'm up to
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