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Trip Reports 2017-07-28-Temple Basin

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This article was first published in the Tararua Tramper Volume 89, no 8, September 2017

Alpine Instruction Course Temple Basin - Avalanche Awareness

28-31 July 2017

On the last weekend of July, eight TTC members headed to Temple Basin ski field. The weekend promised perfect weather and a recent snow dump had left Temple Basin with some beautiful skiing powder. Sadly skiing was not quite on the agenda.

Instead we had travelled there to learn about avalanche safety. We were lucky enough that Dave Grainger had organised Al Moore as our instructor to impart some of his mountain genius. We spent the next few days learning about what to look out for to avoid avalanche danger.

We looked at how to make good decisions in avalanche terrain and reduce avalanche risk when travelling in the mountains. This included how to pick good routes that would reduce exposure to avalanches.

We analysed recent weather forecasts and looked at how different slope angles, aspects, wind, snow, rain and sun could all influence the stability of snow and layers in the snow pack.

Al taught us how to dig snow pits to test the structure and reliability of the snow pack. We had a good look at a slab avalanche that the ski patrol had set off the day earlier and used our new knowledge of digging pits to identify the weak layers in the snow pack and see why the slope had failed.

We spent the last morning practising avalanche rescue by hiding and finding our transceivers. Al also set up a couple of multi burial scenarios. Itís safe to say we all need to practise although will hopefully never need to use it in real life.

We left Temple Basin midday Sunday with new knowledge for travelling safely in the mountains and with everyone keen to put their new found skills to practice and share their knowledge with others. As we walked back to the car park, Al showed us yet again some of his mountain genius and ditched us to go for a ski.

Thanks to the TTC for paying for the course instruction and the Temple Basin accommodation.

Party members
Amie Claridge, Elizabeth Claridge, Henry Dengate-Thrush, Peter Hicks, Kristy Johnstone (scribe), Nikki Joseph, Paul McCredie, Cathy Wylie

Page last modified on 2017 Oct 30 21:38

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