At the beginning of the year, I attended an avalanche awareness class at Mt. Baker, organized by KAF Adventures. The class consisted of a three-hour theoretical introduction here in Seattle, followed by a whole day spent out in the snow at Mt. Baker.
It was truly amazing. I’ve never seen this much snow before. The group was a lot of fun, the three instructors (for six students) were very knowledgeable and friendly, and the weather was perfect.
We dug a study pit and found two layers where the snow had frozen in December 2013, and we also “rescued” a medkit that was hidden under about two feet of snow. It was a very useful class to get to know some general techniques, like reading NWAC (Northwest Avalanche Center) forecasts and looking for avalanche red flags, as well as to get to know our gear, like the avalanche beacon, the probe, and the shovel.
But most of all, it was a ton of fun.