Saturday, January 17, 2015

SAC Avalanche Course 2015

This year's avalanche course took place near the Furkapass.

Conditions were not optimal: the avalanche situation was orange for most of the Alps (the rest was red) and the weather on Saturday was not so good (lots of snow and otherwise overcast). The forecast for Sunday was ok though.

After the long trip to Realp, we stopped for a coffee while we waited for the guide and the instructors to meet us. After they showed up and a bit of intro, we headed off into the snow. The conditions were really not particularly good: you couldn't really see much of anything because of the snow. At the Hotel Galenstock we took a break that ended up being fairly long: the next stretch is up the slope, we're supposed to maintain 10m distance because of the avalanche danger, so this ends up taking a while (would have been great to see this procession in the sun: 50 people zig-zagging their way up the slope, stretched out over 500m). Once up top we follow the shelf down to the Hotel Tiefenbach, where we settle in and then do some prep for the next day.
through the snow
On Sunday morning the sky is blue, the weather is good, it's awesome! As we get ready to set out. Greg notices that one of his snowshoes has broken (they lasted 6+ years... not too bad), fortunately Manuela has some zip ties that we can use to hold it together, so Greg gets to continue. The day is spent tramping around and doing various exercises. The weather's great, the snow is nice, we have fun and learn some stuff. Finally we make our way back down to Realp to start the long ride back.
on the way to the Schafberg