Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Spring 2012 Haute Route Dates Filling Fast

We are planning to offer at least 3 Haute Route Ski Tours in March and April of 2012.  We have been booking these very consistently for the past few weeks and currently have 10 people registered so far with each trip about half-full.  If these trips fill, we will likely add a 4th date.

Current 2012 Haute Route dates include:
  • March 26-April 1, 2012 (Verbier Version)
  • April 2-8, 2012 (Classic Version)
  • April 16-22, 2012 (Verbier Version)
These trips each cost $2745 and include: Guide fee, 2 nights lodging in Chamonix, 5 nights lodging in huts including dinner and breakfast, trams and lifts, all guide's expenses, ground transport during trip, use of avalanche tranceiver, luggage transfer from Chamonix to Zermatt, 7 days guided skiing with IFMGA certified guides.

Custom Haute Route Programs: If you have a group of 4 skiers we are happy to organize a custom date for the regular trip price.  If you have fewer than 4 skiers, we can organize custom trips for groups of 1 or more skiers for a slight additional charge.

Please feel free to contact the office at 509-548-5823 for more details or visit our webpage using the link at the top of the page.

Happy Skiing!

John and Olivia Race
IFMGA Guides, Northwest Mountain School

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

2011-12 AIARE Level 1 Avalanche Course Dates

We have once again teamed up with Sleeping Lady Mountain Resort and Stevens Pass Ski area to offer Leavenworth based AIARE Level 1 Avalanche Courses.  For the winter of 2011-12 we have 6 set date programs and are also available for custom courses for groups.

2011-12 AIARE Level 1 Course Dates:

  • December 16-18, 2011
  • January 6-8, 2012
  • January 20-22, 2012
  • February 3-5, 2012
  • February 17-19, 2012
  • March 2-4, 2012
The cost for these programs is $295 per person and includes all course materials and your single ride ticket at Stevens Pass during the field portion.

AIARE Level 1 Avalanche Course Description
The level one is a 3 day/24 hour introduction to avalanche hazard management. The course is expected to:
  • Provide a basic understanding of avalanches
  • Describe a framework for decision making and risk management in avalanche terrain
  • Focus on identifying the right questions, rather than on providing "answers."
  • Give lessons and exercises that are practically oriented, useful, and applicable in the field.
Students can expect to develop a good grounding in how to prepare for and carry out a trip, to understand basic decision making while in the field, and to learn rescue techniques required to find and dig up a buried person (if an avalanche occurs and someone in the party is caught).

A final debrief includes a knowledge quiz to test student comprehension and to give feedback to instructors on instructional tools. Students are encouraged and counseled on how to apply the skills learned and told that no course can fully guarantee safety, either during or after course completion.

Student Prerequisites
This course will have a backcountry component. During the field day on the last day of the programs we will spend the full day in the backcountry. For this section students will need appropriate alpine touring (AT), telemark, or split board equipment. It is essential that participants show up with gear that will allow them and the group to travel efficiently in avalanche terrain. You do not need to be an advanced skier or boarder for the course, but you should be able to ascend moderate slopes using skins, and should be able to ski downhill effectively in a variety of snow conditions. The goal is not speed, but rather efficiency and safety.

For more details on these programs, please feel free to contact us at 509-548-5823 or by e-mail

John and Olivia Race, IFMGA Guides
Northwest Mountain School