Sunday, February 20, 2011

Avy Class

You guys are awesome!  Loved the comments on the last post, because I feel much better that I am not the only one that is a really cranky hungry person or gets annoyed by something like someone nodding. :)   I think Young Mom's was my favorite, though:

Oh this made me laugh! I worry all the time about EVER sending my 2 year old to school, if she is hungry the whole world ends. She can't even think or talk when she gets like that, and she is to young to understand that she just needs to eat.

Umm, hate to admit it, but I know exactly what her daughter is going through!  I mean, I know I should be better, but the whole world does end when I'm that late for a meal.

The next day was better.  I still didn't have time for a meal, but I had a granola bar and some almonds on the way there, as well as a little something at the break.  And we had a break, so that was a plus!  Not only that, but Nodding Guy was much more toned down the second night.

Okay, so there were a couple of questions about the fact that I was taking an avalanche class (or avy class, as the cool kids call it).  It's really Avalanche Awareness class.  My purpose in taking it was to focus on minimizing exposure (that's the technical term they used- my term was "how to stay far, far away from avalanches").  The first day we learned all about different types of avalanches, what kind of weather to look out for, etc.  The second day was more about terrain that can be a problem and how to minimize risk.  My favorite day was the field day yesterday.  We had to dig snow pits and perform various tests to see what the stability of the snow was.  We learned how to use the beacons, probes and shovels, and then we got to do a couple of simulated rescues.  I am happy to report that all of our "victims" (beacons buried in backpacks) were found, and most of them probably in time to live.  One took us a little too long to find, so I can't guarantee his brain activity, but at least he may have had a chance to live.

The good news is that most of the instructors have never actually had to put their training into use.  It's a little like taking a CPR class.  Extremely good info to have, but it's not like you need to use it much.  I know I learned something, though.  Because of my new knowledge and because I knew some of the mountains west of here got some pretty good snow yesterday, I suspected that the avalanche danger was up today.  I got on the website to test my theory, and sure enough.  Yesterday, we were at level 2 (on a 5 point scale) and today it was up to 4.  Level 2 means you can trigger an avalanche, but it might to be hard to do.  Level 4 means that there were probably a lot of avalanches out there today that were just natural.  It also means that if you're stupid enough to go out in it, you're almost guaranteed to trigger an avalanche.  Luckily, most people do check the forecast and avoid messing around when it gets to that high of danger.

Me? I was taking a nap.  You couldn't pay me to be on a mountain on a day like today. Besides, digging out backpacks at 10,000 feet of elevation is surprisingly hard work.


  1. That sounds really interesting! I'm pretty sure we don't have avalanches in the mountains here...we don't get enough snow.

  2. "One took us a little too long to find, so I can't guarantee his brain activity, but at least he may have had a chance to live." You do what you can, right? ;-)

    I'm glad that you're planning on avoiding avalanches. Napping seems both safer and smarter.

  3. Sorry to hear about your potentially brain-dead victim, but glad to hear about all the cool stuff you're learning, and your nap! :)

  4. I'm just glad to hear that the condition becomes more manageable with age. :) I'm sure that you really are much more mature than my 2 year old! At least you can rationalize that you missed a meal and figure out how to help yourself! :)