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Winter Could Be A Whopper, Forecasters Say

“The most intense La Niña conditions since 1955 are brewing near the

equator, raising the odds of a wild winter in the Pacific Northwest. Meteorologists

say more rain, colder temperatures and bigger snowstorms...”

Source: Seattle Times, Oct 1, 2010



DECEMBER 7, 2010(Training for Climbers-Skiers-Snowshoers-Snowboarders-Snowmobilers)

With a severe winter of snowstorms predicted, backcountry enthusiasts should consider avalanche education to step up their avalanche awareness education, snow safety and winter travel skills to give themselves a better chance to make safe decisions in the snow-covered mountains. For people looking for free avalanche classes in the Puget Sound region, there are many to choose from.

The Ridge Explorations Free Avalanche Clinic and Avalanche Class at Marmot Mountain Work stands apart from the many others being offered around the area that are often taught by volunteer instructors with limited experience.

Your instructor will be Don Langlois, owner and director of Ridge Explorations. Don brings 35 years of instructing experience and superior teaching skills to his students. He has worked as a guide in skiing, mountaineering, sea kayaking, rafting, and canoeing.

In 1976, Don came from Connecticut and a background of wilderness canoe guiding for the express purpose of becoming a mountain climber. He uniquely began his avalanche education when he started as a Ranger at Mount Rainier National Park. Starting the winter of 1977 at Paradise, he was sent to avalanche training and began immediately working full-time with professional forecasters in conjunction with Mark Moore and Rich Mariott at the time they were starting the Northwest Weather and Avalanche Center. At Paradise, he gained extensive professional experience in ski mountaineering, backcountry ski patrol, avalanche hazard evaluation and forecasting. Don has also spent much of his time on personal expeditions in Alaska and Canada.

More recently, Don trained at Industrial Level 1 & Level 2 with the Canadian Avalanche Association, Level 1 ski guide with the Canadian Ski Guide Association, Hiking Guide with the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides. Don is certified WFR (Wilderness First Responder). He is a Professional Member of the American Avalanche Association and Affiliate member of the Canadian Avalanche association. Like his students, Don continues to train by attending professional avalanche conventions and continuing professional development events.

To add more interest to your avalanche instructor, Don is also a sailor. Don's nautical background includes US Coast Guard 100 Ton Masters license, Able Bodied Seaman, ocean tug boating, sailing instructor, yacht delivery skipper, member US Sailing Association, and Applied Science Degree in Marine Technology. Voyages include Pacific Coast to the Arctic and New England to Caribbean Sea.

This program will cover the following topics:

· Trip Planning concepts

· Excellent photographs for learning terrain evaluation

· Discussions about choosing safe routes in avalanche country

· Introduction to Snow Stability evaluation skills

· Instruction In safe travel techniques

· Observation skills exercises





827 Bellevue Way Northeast

Bellevue, WA 98004-4295


Edited by Ridge

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What time is the class?


Oh, look there. It's in the title. :blush:

Edited by Reid

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