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In partnership with the North American Ski Training Center (NASTC) and the USFS Sierra Avalanche Center (SAC), Homewood Mountain Resort is offering AIARE Avalanche Level 1 and 2 courses in March 2021. Building on the backcountry experience provided by its snowcat skiing program, Homewood Mountain Resort is expanding learning opportunities for those who want to explore the backcountry. The resort offers a series of workshops that ranges from foundational courses for those who have never tried backcountry skiing or snowboarding before to avalanche safety courses and sessions for experienced backcountry enthusiasts interested in augmenting their skills. Kevin Mitchell, General Manager of Homewood Mountain Resort, said in a recent press release:
As more and more people venture into the uncontrolled, unpatrolled backcountry, we recognize there is an increased need for educational opportunities so they can be prepared to make good decisions and know how to evaluate both the snowpack and terrain. The new courses we’ve introduced are a natural extension of our Snowcat Adventure offering and a next step for advanced skiers and riders who intend to spend time exploring the backcountry.
–Kevin Mitchell – General Manager, Homewood Mountain Resort
Homewood still has a few spaces available in the AIARE Level 1 Avalanche Course March 1-3 and the AIARE Level 2 Avalanche Course March 7-9. Taught by NASTC guides, the AIARE Level 1 course is a 3-day intensive seminar that covers avalanche formation, observational techniques for snowpack, the ability to use an avalanche transceiver/probe, safe travel methods in avalanche terrain, how to interpret the avalanche bulletin, companion rescue protocols, and decision-making fundamentals. The AIARE Level 2 builds on the introductory avalanche hazard management model introduced in the AIARE Level 1 and adds to it the evaluation of critical hazard assessment factors. Students will describe and discuss weather, snowpack, and avalanche processes and identify how they relate to observations and travel within avalanche terrain.
Course participation is available on a first-come, first-served basis and must be reserved in advance. The costs are $575 per person for the Level 1 course and $595 per person for Level 2. There are still spaces available in these courses as of February 24, 2021.
Homewood is also offering an Introduction to Backcountry Skiing and Riding course that is an entry-level program for those experienced resort skiers and riders that want to gain touring experience, develop their skills, and better understand backcountry terrain. Following in the Homewood tradition, this is a family-friendly program offering a day of touring in terrain beyond the standard lift-serviced slopes at Homewood Mountain Resort, providing the best way to start your journey safely into backcountry touring. All ages are welcome, though a parent/guardian must accompany all youth participants at all times during the workshop.
Homewood also offers guided snowcat tours that provide access to over 750 acres of backcountry terrain beyond the resort’s boundary to Ellis Peak. These small group snowcat tours offer a wide variety of terrain options and can be tailored for various skill levels – from intermediate to expert skiers and riders.