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Avalanche Awareness Courses???
Posted: 11 December 2008 12:42 PM  
Total Posts:  4
Joined  2008-10-30

Hi All,

Can anyone recommend a good place to get an avalanche awareness course where the course leader is knowledgeable and explains concepts well in English? Also if you have any idea of the costs involved that would be appreciated too?

I’ve been riding for a long time now but want to start spending more time away from the pistes. I’ve a healthy fear for avalanche which takes much of the enjoyment out of riding untracked slopes. I suppose that once I understand some of the techniques involved to assessing snow stability I can start to relax and enjoy the experience more.



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Posted: 11 December 2008 11:21 PM   [ # 1 ]  
Total Posts:  1
Joined  2005-11-29


I can absolutely, absolutely reccomend Henry Schniewind of Henry’s Avalanche Talks. This is the link to his website :-

He did some talks in the UK earlier this year as well as some practical training, (on the beach as it happens !). I do not go off-piste often but really found his training and talk so informative and free of bull***t that the 400 mile round trip for myself and my son from North Wales to the South Coast, on a Sunday, to be well worth it. He is based in Val d’Isere and I understand does courses there as well.
I think If he does his series of UK talks/courses next year in October/November he could be persuaded to do a venue in the north. If anybody wants to contact me to try and set up some sort of list of interested parties I would be happy to compile it and forward to Henry.


Posted: 12 December 2008 08:56 AM   [ # 2 ]  
Total Posts:  9
Joined  2008-03-19

I and a colleague took a two day introductory avalanche awareness course this time last year with Olly Allen through Mountain Tracks:

This was in Avoriaz, which was convenient for us as we live and work just an hour away in La Clusaz. Mountain Tracks do run a range of courses at various Alpine ski resorts throughout the season though, along with off piste, ski touring, mountain skills courses as well . . .

I can certainly vouch for the course as run by Olly - 2 days on the mountain and 3 evenings of informal classes. It certainly gave us a good founding in risk awareness, snow structure, route choice and practical search / rescue with ARVA equipment. And the experience of being on the mountain with someone with that much experience constantly making us aware of signs in the nature of our surroundings was perhaps the most valuable lesson of all - that of always keeping our heads up and being aware of the nature of the environment we’re out there enjoying.

Posted: 12 December 2008 02:32 PM   [ # 3 ]  
Total Posts:  2234
Joined  2003-10-24

Also consider Chamex in Argentiere

Posted: 14 December 2008 08:27 AM   [ # 4 ]  
Sr. Member
Total Posts:  543
Joined  2006-01-24

Roger Payne and Julie Anne Clyma run a good one,

 Signature & B&B L’EpicĂ©a, Leysin, Switzerland

Posted: 15 December 2008 09:40 AM   [ # 5 ]  
Total Posts:  58
Joined  2008-10-29

I did the chamex one last year. Great teaching, but unfortunately the “in the field” exercises would have been better were it not for the 2 week old hard/icy snow.

Posted: 15 December 2008 09:24 PM   [ # 6 ]  
Total Posts:  3
Joined  2008-12-15

I’ve done both avalanch awareness course and crevass rescue with english speaking guides from Mountain spirit guides. See
Had a great day skiing and learning a lot!

Posted: 19 March 2009 10:34 AM   [ # 7 ]  
Total Posts:  3
Joined  2009-03-19

Hi - this reply comes some time after the initial post but I know people are always looking for this.

Along with Craig above I can also recommend

Also there’s a blog with loads of information about the snow pack in Val d’Isere - it’s particularly relevant for people skiing here, but the course is relevant to anyone.

Henry is a real expert on this subject, and while you are doing the course you can also get in some MEGA skiing - check the blog for 11th March 2009 for the depth of the powder that we skied thanks to Henry’s understanding of the conditions.
We also did the beeper training and felt deeply embarrassed for not having read our manuals… I mean who reads all that small print anyway?

Highly recommended for:
1. the fantastic value - v. cheap price to do this
2. the knowledge you gain
3. the fun and great skiing you can do during the course