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Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows offer avalanche classes

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Amelia Richmond, Senior PR Manager at Squaw Valley, in a press release on January 6, said that Squaw and Alpine Meadows will be holding avalanche awareness and certification clinics at the resorts.

Anyone who spends time skiing or snow boarding, either at a resort or in the back country, really needs to know a bit about avalanches.

Richmond said this: "Starting this Wednesday, January 8, skiers and snowboarders can take advantage of new avalanche education courses at Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows. The one- and three-day courses teach the basics of snow science, how to access and read the avalanche advisory, how to operate standard avalanche equipment (beacon, probe, and shovel), and, most importantly, how to make good decisions.

The courses kick off this week at Squaw Valley with the three-day AIAIRE Avalanche Leavel 1 Certification course January 8-10 for $389, and the one-day avalanche awareness course on January 12 for $149."

If you can't make the January courses, both resorts will be offering additional courses in February and March. Full information including additional dates and details are listed on the Squaw Valley site.

Importantly, the courses follow the Avalanche Institute for Avalanche Research and Education (AIARE) curriculum and are taught by AIARE Qualified Instructors.

The one-day course covers quite a lot in a short time. Learn about terrain, weather, snowpacks, stats on avalanches, human activity issues, obvious clues, advisories and terminology related to avalanches. You'll learn about travel advisories and companion rescue. It's an intense day, and well worth it.

If you have the time, especially if you ski or board in the back country, or in the steeps and trees, the three-day course is tailored for you.

Included are much more detailed specifics about avalanches and the conditions that produce them. You'll spend time in the classroom and in the field, out in the snow, during the three days. This is a hands on course and is fun to boot.

At the end of the course, participants will receive Level 1 certificates, and be much better prepared to be in skiing and boarding in the mountains, on or off piste.

Morning coffee is provided during the courses. Lunch is on your own, in one of the fine eateries at the resorts, always a tasty way to spend some time in two special places.

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