Snow Science Sessions

Recently my friends and I took an Avalanche 2 class with Apex Mountain School.   This class was eye opening.  I left with more questions than I had when I started.  We were lucky enough to have two very educated and experienced professionals, Scott and Pete.  This class allowed a much greater understanding of the snowpack, weather patterns, and the science that stands behind all of this.  We learned that the science of snow is ever changing and not fully understood.  Perhaps it never will be.  As Scott said this is one of the more interesting scientific endeavors. ” Snow science may be something that humans will never fully understand and therefore never be able to control”, one of the last vestiges in a world so seemingly controlled by the human race.

During this course I learned a lot about myself as well. The discussions I will not get into. However, they were very conductive to personal growth.   The sports of alpine skiing climbing or mountaineering will always include risk.  People die for these sports and or what they get from the experience.  This is something that is truly impossible to explain.  I would like to thank everyone who participated in these discussions for their honesty and candor.  The opportunity to speak with like minded people that understand these risks was truly refreshing.

Avalanche safety is truly a paradox and there is a fine line between education and ignorance.  In my limited experience I have seen the good and bad of this paradox.  I started in the backcountry as a steezy snowboard punk with very little true knowledge of how to travel in avalanche country.  I got lucky.  I have been blessed to travel with and learn from many educated and knowledgeable people.  I would like to thank all of these people for sharing their education!  Someday I hope to pass on this knowledge myself.  The world is a crazy place and those that are lucky enough to grow old must remember to pass on their knowledge and wisdom.  Thanks, for sharing your knowledge with a new member of the sport.

I would Highly recommend this class to anyone who wishes to travel extensively in the backcounty.  I would also highly recommend Apex Mountain Schools.  They did a great job of facilitating this progress! I will end this post with a quote from Pete one of our instructors.  ” I left Avy 201 with more questions than answers.  But then I realized I knew what questions to ask!”



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