MNGS offers a range of educational activities regarding avalanche safety and awareness. Considering that 90% of victims start the avalanche that catches them, it is imperative to gain insight into this complex phenomenon as a fundamental part of learning any winter sport. Every individual who enjoys off-piste skiing, freeriding, snowshoeing, sledding, climbing or winter hiking needs to understand the fragility, dynamics and capabilities of avalanches. For this reason GuideSource offers:
AVALANCHE AWARENESS SAFETY
Avalanche (AVI) Awareness Safety Presentations are offered as a public service to communities, corporate groups, schools and clubs. Programme lengths can range from 30 minutes to two hours, according to your scheduling needs, and talks can be customized to the specific activity of participants. These AVI Safety Presentations were specifically designed to address the interests of all snow sport enthusiasts, school students, off-piste skiers, freeriders, snowboarders, snowshoers, and climbers. Local schools like the International Schools in Geneva, local Scout Troops, and corporations like Dupont Nemours have taken advantage of these talks to increase the knowledge base and overall safety of their employees and students, to enhance their safety while enjoying Winter recreational activities.
For young people, MNGS Avalanche Presentations are regularly taught in english throughout the months of December, January, February and March, at both public and private schools. We offer these free talks to groups of young people and students as a public safety service. These slide show presentations are taught by licensed Himalayan mountain guides / avalanche instructors with decades of experience in avalanche safety, rescue and high altitude ascents.
For adult groups, businesses, corporations and organizations we make these presentations for a small fee, which we contribute to the Education for Orphans of Nepal (EON) charity. A description of these presentations can be found below.
AVI Presentations are designed to:
- Introduce and explain where, when, and why avalanches occur
- Describe who gets caught and the common reasons
- Provide important information about staying safe in the backcountry while skiing, sledding, snowshoeing or enjoying any off-piste activity
- Explain various designs of avalanche safety equipment, its limitations and usage
An Avalanche Awareness Safety Presentation demonstrates examples of avalanche warning signs, reasons that dangerous situations develop, and the basic characteristics of potential snow instability. It fosters awareness of risky possibilities and helps reduce the chance of becoming a victim through the application of informed decision-making models.
- Enhancement of interpretation of avalanche bulletins and weather reports
- Recognition of basic clues of potential avalanche danger (the ‘5 Red Warning Flags’)
- Understanding the basics of planning and making informed choices in avalanche areas
- Appreciation of a judicious approach in avalanche terrain vs. common group dynamics
- Significance of training in companion rescue techniques & equipment design, familiarity and use
These PowerPoint presentations demonstrate the designs of various avalanche safety equipment (transceiver beacons, ABS packs, various probes and shovels), and discuss local case histories, while encouraging questions and participation from the audience. Participants that are more than casual users of the backcountry can learn about specific topics taught during a multiple-day avalanche course.
Cost: To schedule a presentation at your business, school or group, simply contact us. Again, school talks are offered for free. Any presentation fees paid by businesses are donated to the Education for Orphans of Nepal Charity (EON) and are 100% tax deductible.
Avalanche Awareness Snowshoe Outings
These easy 4-6 hour snowshoeing outings are offered most winter weekend days – just ask or check our events Calendar. (Learn about these on our Snowshoeing page by clicking here).
AVALANCHE TRAINING COURSE –
MNGS offers this two-day course (weekends and other dates by request) to train participants in all aspects of basic avalanche safety, including decision-making, snowpack/slope stability testing, weather interpretation, the interaction between Terrain – Snowpack – Weather – Humans, and the most modern/efficient companion search and rescue techniques. Upon completion of this course participants should know how to plan and travel intelligently in the winter backcountry, and what to do if an avalanche occurs. This is a necessary course for everyone concerned about staying safe while off-piste, and intelligently enjoying any Winter activity. Courses are physically very easy, intensive ‘hands-on’ learning experiences, during which the participants will:
- receive an MNGS AVI Course Notebook to keep as an academic / personal reference
- learn about the types/classes of avalanches and their characteristic behaviours
- learn to plan a Winter outing to avoid dangerous situations and adjust to changes
- interpret weather reports, influence of recent weather history, limitations of the European Avalanche Scale, observable natural AVI clues
- understand how to recognize avalanche terrain and “Terrain Traps”
- learn the relationship between Weather, Snowpack, Terrain & Humans (Triggers)
- practice safe travel methods in off-piste (potential avalanche) areas
- gain insight into making wise choices when faced with unfavourable and changing circumstances
- learn how to recognize and interpret the ‘5 Red Warning Flags’ of AVI potential
- implement evaluation techniques to determine slope and snowpack stability, and learn various shear and compression tests
- learn efficient use of various transceivers, probes & shovels to quickly effect a rescue
- apply Decision-Making Models to determine how to intelligently plan outings
- understand various avalanche transceiver designs, uses, limitations, and how to best choose AVI gear and make informed purchases
- practice the most modern search techniques to find buried victims (with and w/o beacons)
- practice rapid methods of determining location of buried victims (with one or numerous partners)
- use the best probing and extrication methods for fast victim recovery
- learn about the strong psychological factors influencing group decisions (i.e. ‘Herding Instinct’; Dynamicity’ effects), and the mistakes most often made in risky situations
Differences in equipment, idiosyncrasies of various beacons and professional methods of search and rescue are practiced in the field. *NOTE: Course completion entitles participants to reduced prices of BCA avalanche safety gear. Advanced booking only. No previous experience needed.
Cost: 420€ weekend/person, with discounts offered to groups. All AVI equipment is provided free of charge. All courses feature small groups (4-6 max) to enhance learning. Private group bookings available.