Saturday, 11/17/2018, Backcountry Ski Tour, Cameron Pass

The purpose of this early season ski tour is to assess snowpack and avalanche conditions in the Cameron Pass area. We will check out a range of elevations and aspects to assess conditions. We will likely focus on the Montgomery Pass/Diamond Peaks area:www.frontrangeskimo.com/cameron-pass-north/Maps: Trails Illustrated #112, #200The backcountry tour will involve a round trip of up to 5 miles with an elevation gain of up to 2,000', with a portion on an established track. Be prepared to break trail for part of the route. Ascent will be casually paced with periodic stops for snowpack and terrain assessments, but be prepared for a longer day. You should be able to ski untracked snow in variable conditions, both above and below treeline, in trees of varying density. Terrain steepness will generally be 30 degrees or less, except for short, steeper sections. With the early season snowpack, expect to encounter deadfall, obstacles of various types. Careful and controlled skiing is a must. You should be prepared for an outing of 5-6 hours, trailhead to trailhead. Driving to and from the trailhead adds about another 2.5 hours round trip from the meeting location.Bring AT, tele, or split board gear with climbing skins. A helmet (skiing or climbing) is recommended. Avalanche gear (beacon, shovel, probe) and knowledge of how to use it, is required. Bring lunch, including a drink. Winter clothing, including wind protection, is essential.Backcountry AT/Tele ratings for this trip (see Notes below):Fitness - MODERATESkill - BLUEAvalanche training - LEVEL 1 AVALANCHE COURSE AND GEAR REQUIREDPlease read the notes on backcountry skiing ratings below to determine if this trip is for you. You can register for this trip online.Check:NOAA weather forecast: http://www.weather.gov/bou/CAIC avalanche forecast: http://avalanche.state.co.us/Front Range forecast: http://avalanche.state.co.us/forecasts/backcountry-avalanche/front-range/before you leave for this ski tour.Please be aware that snowpack conditions at this point are uncertain so be prepared for possible changes.By signing up for this trip, participants agree to allow the trip leader to share contact information with other participants.

Leader: John Raich
Type: Ski, Trail mileage: 5, Pace: Casual, Elevation Gain: 2000
see official page

Tuesday, 12/11/2018, Backcountry Ski Skills Seminar

OverviewBackcountry ski tours provide realistic settings to practice a decision-making framework in avalanche terrain. The best way to practice skills learned in avalanche courses is to apply them consistently on all ski tours where all participants share responsibilities for trip planning, working as a team, assessing weather, snowpack, and terrain risks, choosing terrain for ski ascents and descents, and formulating travel strategies. All participants practice small group leadership. The emphasis is on trip planning, snowpack and terrain assessment, and decision making. Ski descents are still a priority, but secondary. The seminar is intended as a follow-up to a level 1 avalanche course: https://gearjunkie.com/avalanche-1-course-additional-skillsOrientation and discussion sessionsAn evening orientation session is tentatively scheduled for Tuesday, December 11, 6:30-8:30 p.m., Council Tree Library in Fort Collins location (see above for directions). The orientation includes discussion of field trip planning and management and introduces planning tools for the seminar. Subsequent evening discussion sessions may be scheduled at a later time. A set of seminar notes will be provided for participants.Field tripsA number of field trips will be scheduled over a period of 5 months, January through May, about one per month, at different locations on gradually more challenging terrain at Cameron Pass and RMNP. One or two field trips are are shake-down tours to review basic skills. You should attend one of these to participate in subsequent field trips. We will will sample terrain at elevations from below treeline to the alpine with a variety of snowpack and weather conditions. Field trips are conducted in one or more groups of 4 with overall coordination by the seminar director. You can sign up for field trips when they are listed in the CMC activity schedule. Those registered for the seminar have priority for field trip participation.Participant requirementsAvalanche training and gear: Completion of a level 1 avalanche course with an avalanche rescue component prior to seminar field trips. Beacon, shovel, probe. AIARE 1 courses are offered locally: CMC (Denver and Boulder Groups - see activity schedule), Colorado Mountain School (Estes Park and Boulder), Never Summer Outdoor School (Fort Collins).Skiing ability: You should be able to ski "blue" runs at ski areas with considerable confidence and be able to get down "black" runs competently at moderate speed, although perhaps not elegantly. You should have some experience skiing untracked snow in the backcountry on slopes 30-35 degrees.Fitness: You should be able to ascend a good ski track at a rate of 750' vertical and 1 mile distance in about an hour. You should be able to alternate ascents and descents with short breaks between and keep it up for up to 6 hours.Basic first aid training: Recommended.Individual gear: AT, telemark, or splitboard gear, avalanche rescue gear, helmets recommended, air bags optional.By signing up for the seminar, all participants agree that responsibility for group safety is shared by all participants.Seminar RegistrationThere is no fee for the seminar. Seminar director: John Raich, john.raich@colostate.edu. Registration puts you on a mailing list for scheduled field trips. Those registered for the seminar have priority on field trips.Group LeadersWhen registering for the seminar please indicate if you are willing to serve as a small group leader/coordinator. The number of participants will depend on the number of volunteer leaders. Qualifications for assistants include all of the participant requirements plus at lea

Leader: John Raich
Type: Ski, Trail mileage: 6, Pace: Moderate, Elevation Gain: 2000
see official page

Saturday, 12/15/2018, Backcountry Ski Tour, Cameron Pass

This is a field trip of the CMC Backcountry Ski Skills Seminar. Effective decision making in avalanche terrain depends on communication and cohesion between team members. CMC ski tour groups tend to come together just before the start of scheduled trips. The Seminar is designed to improve cohesion and communication. Hence you should sign up for the Seminar if you intend to participate in field trips for the 2018-19 season.. For the 12/15 field trip, we'll rely on planning done at the 12/11 evening seminar. The field trip will likely focus on the Montgomery Pass/Diamond Peaks area:www.frontrangeskimo.com/cameron-pass-north/Maps: Trails Illustrated #112, #200The backcountry tour will involve a round trip of up to 6 miles with an elevation gain of up to 2,000', with a portion on an established track. Be prepared to break trail for part of the route. Ascent will be moderately paced with periodic stops for snowpack and terrain assessments. You should be able to ski untracked snow in variable conditions, both above and below treeline, in trees of varying density. Terrain steepness will generally be 30 degrees or less, except for short, steeper sections. With an early season snowpack, expect to encounter deadfall, obstacles of various types. Careful and controlled skiing is a must. You should be prepared for an outing of 5-6 hours, trailhead to trailhead. Driving to and from the trailhead adds about another 2.5 hours round trip from the meeting location.Bring AT, tele, or split board gear with climbing skins. A helmet (skiing or climbing) is recommended. Avalanche gear (beacon, shovel, probe) and knowledge of how to use it, is required. Bring lunch, including a drink. Winter clothing, including wind protection, is essential.Backcountry AT/Tele ratings for this trip (see Notes below):Fitness - MODERATESkill - BLUEAvalanche training - LEVEL 1 AVALANCHE COURSE AND GEAR REQUIREDPlease read the notes on backcountry skiing ratings below to determine if this trip is for you. This is a 'register with leader' trip.Check:NOAA weather forecast: http://www.weather.gov/bou/CAIC avalanche forecast: http://avalanche.state.co.us/Front Range forecast: http://avalanche.state.co.us/forecasts/backcountry-avalanche/front-range/before you leave for this ski tour.By signing up for this trip, participants agree to allow the trip leader to share contact information with other participants. By signing up for this field trip, participants agree that responsibility for group safety is shared by all participants.

Leader: John Raich
Type: Ski, Trail mileage: 6, Pace: Moderate, Elevation Gain: 2000
see official page