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Val's Avy & Navigation Introduction for Organizers

  • Dec 26, 2012 · 6:00 PM
  • Val & Didi's Place

Appitizer Potluck.... so we can snack while we discuss things. Limited seating!

This is MOSTLY for organizers that want a refresher about winter travel in the back country. Others can join after the organizers sign up.

Many PEAK can be done safely in adverse condition IF THE RIGHT route is choosen, and the summer trails are avoided. This requires Research, Navigation & Route Finding Skills & Avalanche Avoidance Routes, and equipment, like safety ropes, as safe avy routes are sometimes over cliffs and steep forests.

It is about Self-Reliance, Self-Assessment of the individual slopes.... or their avoidance all together, and not just following blindly Avalanche forecasts, as EVERY slope on EACH mountain is different and one doesn't know the snow pack above onces route, thus, relying on the NW Avalanche forecasts can be misleading and dangerous, as well as keeping you off the mountain when the route makes it un-necessary.

Your Avy safety should NOT rely on Beacons, Probes and Shovels..... (Maybe airbags), as beacons only buy you 10 minutes under an avalanche and thus a very limited change of survival. Your safety should be avalanche avoidance, not equpment to find your dead body faster. Skiers often needs to use slopes.. and thus expose themselves to avy's, but snowshoers often can avoid this all together.

Navigation by Map/Compass/Altimeter is preferred, and a GPS as possible backup is welcome as well. As gadgets fail, paper maps should be the primary navigation tool we will conentrate on: Contour lines, gulys, ridges... and to always know where you are (Stay on top of it) are the main areas we will cover. It starts with research at home (,, etc) so one has maps, pictures and knows what to expect BEFORE you ever get there.

We will talk about Navigating Guye peak for example:[masked][masked][masked][masked][masked]

We talk about River Crossings:[masked][masked]

We talk about getting people out of a hole:[masked]

We talk about Spacing then crossing Avy-Gullies amd Slopes:[masked]

We talk about Cornices:

And which side to go on...(Not that one)[masked][masked]

Not to get separated in the storm:[masked][masked]

I also invite you to read all of

Read the Section about Navigation and Avalanches in the "Mountainiering book "Freedom of the Hills"

Bring Compass and Questions!!!



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  • Val

    OK to refresh!

    December 29, 2012

  • Barbara L

    Another great tutorial! Thanks Val and Didi for once again turning your home into a classroom! See you in the snow.

    December 26, 2012

  • Ashwin

    thanks Val for the any-nav introduction - it was a valuable refresher.

    1 · December 26, 2012

    • John T.

      Agreed. Thanks for your time, Val.

      December 26, 2012

  • jason c.

    Nice to meet everyone!

    December 26, 2012

  • Lindsey

    Hi - Need an address for this. Thanks!!!

    December 26, 2012

  • Selena

    I would love the address again. Is anyone coming from the Eastside who wants to carpool? I won't have internet access tomorrow, so text or call me. 206. two.2.eight.nine six fourteen

    December 25, 2012

    • Selena

      (I'd be coming from close to I-405's exit 17 or 18)

      December 25, 2012

  • Nick

    I need the address too.

    December 25, 2012

  • ben

    can you email me directions.

    December 25, 2012

  • Val

    Appitizer Potluck.... so we can snack while we discuss things. Limited seating!

    December 25, 2012

  • Lincoln

    Here is a great story about last year's avalanche by Stevens Pass:
    Lots to learn here....

    December 22, 2012

  • Juan P.

    I would love to go but the timing doesn't work for me.

    December 20, 2012

15 went

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