Here are a few snippets of what daily life is like during our AST2+ Course at Hilda Lodge:
Sunday February 10, 2019, 10:45 a.m.: Clear skis and Grade A efficiency at Valkyr staging make for a record transfer. The group settles in to their plush accommodations.
Sunday, 2:30 p.m.: Everyone has done 3 Companion Rescue drills, improving their search/digging time in each scenario. Time for a tour!
Sunday, 5:00 p.m.: Appetizers! Fresh Mussels!
Monday, 9:30 a.m.: Starting up the boot pack to Hilda East High Col:
Monday 11:00 a.m.: Avalanche! Alex ski cuts a size 1.0 avalanche on a steep convex roll. This was on the early February sun crust, which continues to be a persistent weak layer (PWL) through the rest of February and into March:
Monday 8:00 p.m.: The students are meeting in small groups to plan their self-guided day tomorrow.
Tuesday, 2:30 p.m.: On the way back from the Valkalla Zone:
Tuesday 5:30 p.m.: After a relaxing sauna and more appetizers, the group gets together for a classroom session to discuss the day’s learnings.
Wednesday 11:00 a.m.: After a surprise 20cm fresh overnight, Avalanche Danger is up to Considerable, but there is safe skiing in the Lower Norns. “Choosing the right terrain for the conditions” is the mantra:
Thursday 10:30 a.m.: Moderate-Strong winds have kicked up this morning, and everyone has scaled back their self-guided plans.
Friday 9:30 a.m.: Performing an Extended Column Test (ECT). This was followed by additional Companion Rescue practice. The students are really on their game:
Friday 12:00 p.m.: Our chef Janelle prepares a hot lunch for the group before we head out for a few more runs in the afternoon.
Friday, 2:30 p.m.: Magic in the trees:
Saturday 8:30 a.m.: The groups are out for their final self-guided day with sights set for a 600 metre fall line run called Burton Direct and a 500 metre line off the Norns.
Saturday 7:00 p.m.: Our final dinner together, lovingly prepared by Janelle. Final learnings and certificates of achievement follow.
Sunday 9:00 a.m.: One final group shot before the Heli arrives and we start our journey home:
Some comments from the participants:
Thanks for making me want to go play and be mindful in the mountains.
Discussions at the end of the day whether in the sauna or in front of the screen were super valuable.