This past weekend was a busy one, as it was time for the Friends of Berthoud Pass on-snow days. I was again lucky to have groups full of enthusiastic, competent people who were ready to learn a bit of snow safety.
Things started off with breaking out in to groups and going over gear for an hour, before watching a staged burial scenario put on by a couple more-senior FOBP members.
This is a pretty big change from prior years, where students were thrown to the wolves with a hands-on deep multiple burials.
Afterwards, Rob and I took our groups up the west side of the pass, where I’d found some reactive snow last year.
The blocks didn’t shoot out this year (surprisingly, given our snowpack) but the failures did propagate, and split the blocks well enough to demonstrate significant variability in the snowpack.
We then had folks run through a quick, basic beacon search scenario…
…before heading up high to look at and discuss terrain.
We went down for a late lunch, talked more about snow, and dismissed the group for the day. A few people wanted to get some exercise, and so we went up to treeline on the east half of the pass to stretch our legs out.
There was a bonus after the exercise part – some soft snow!
Sunday was only slightly different. The weather was a bit cooler and breezier, so we spent more time in the trees and pits talking snow.
We even took the time to do a rutschblock, which I had the honor of jumping on.
It was a good, tiring weekend. I’m always exhausted by the end of these weekends, but I think it’s worth it.