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Get into touring now, or wait until next winter?
Did a bunch of "sidecountry" this year and wanted to start getting into backcountry.
Due to the plethora of snow we received this year (Tahoe), many of the backcountry/avalanche courses are available well into May. The coverage (at least in most spots) should be there.
So, would it be worth it for me to take the courses now in prep for next season (and probably get a few spring days under my belt)? Or am I better off waiting until next winter?
Also, I'd imagine the classes are the best way to get myself safely acclimated to the backcountry, correct? The Avalanche I course seems essential, but what about the "intro to backcountry" courses and the like? Can I skip courses and learn from experienced friends?
Completely new to touring so apologies if any of my questioning is stupid haha
**This thread was edited on Apr 24th 2019 at 12:25:51pm
**This thread was edited on Apr 24th 2019 at 12:30:29pm
**This thread was edited on Apr 24th 2019 at 12:30:44pm
Wait until next winter to take your level one course. Spend the spring getting used to backcountry skiing, the touring process etc so when you take your course next year you don’t look like a total newb. Two major concerns for the spring/summer backcountry skier in Tahoe are wet slides and really firm frozen surfaces in the morning that you don’t want to take a fall on. Find some friends that have more experience and tag along all spring.
In the climbing world, your are responsible for your own safety and survival. Going in blind is the best way to attend someone's funeral or have everything end abruptly. Gaining momentum, experience and slowly progressing through terrain is the best way to ensure fun and safe times.
The slackcountry still falls under insurable property, so many precautions are taken to make sure the terrain is as safe as possible before guests arrive. In the back country, mother nature doesnt care about your safety.
Is taking courses a good way to start? yes! by all means! Intro to backcountry will teach you how to identity potential risks, identify avalanche prone areas and teach you how to dress and eat for survival. Its a great way when you have never been out there before.
The Avalache skills training gives you terrain ID skills, basic avy theory, pit digging and beacon searches.
When it comes time for on terrain experience, having a trustworthy friend is everything. The mentoring program is something I have followed my climbing life. Riding with different people will help you learn touring techniques and help you become a better skier. Have a plan; they take 15 minutes and everyone is on the same page to the mission. My worst days were the ones without good plans.
Beating the crowds is a kinda lousy argument... but I know the feeling. But when the backcountry get overcrowded, you have to consider others people stupidity as a likely risk to you and you partner. Its getting out of control in the Kootenays with 1st timers triggering avanlanches on people trying to ski for the 1st time in a avy prone areas.
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