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Cottonwood Heights Journal

Ski & Snowboard News / Two day Backcountry 101 course at Brighton starts Jan 2

Dec 30, 2019 04:37PM ● By Harriet Wallis

This program is for everyone who has ever thought about going into the backcountry / photo: Harriet Wallis

The Brighton Patrol and the Utah Avalanche Center team up to give Backcountry 101 -- an introductory basics course about going out of bounds.

The first session is scheduled for January 2 at 5:30 - 8:30 p.m. indoors at Brighton's Milly Base Lodge. (The lodge is in the Brighton circle and is the first building on the right past the church. ) The classroom session will cover: snowpack, weather, how to read the Utah Avalanche Center forecast, companion rescue, terrain, terrain management, and group dynamics. Bring a notebook.

The follow up field day is an outdoor session scheduled for Monday, January 6 from 8:15 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.. It's on snow and gives real hands-on experience.

"We start with a weather/forecast review/plan for the day, based upon that.  In the field we will practice companion rescue, discuss terrain, and safe travel techniques in avalanche terrain, basic snowpack fundamentals, group dynamics, and end with a de-brief of the day," says Brighton Pro Patroller Peter Tucker,  a key member of the resort's snow safety team.

For this session bring your skis or snowboard, a shovel, beacon, and probe and get experience using them. Bring climbing skins if you have them, but touring capability is not a requirement.

"Once you go beyond the ropeline, you're in the backcountry and you become your own avalanche forecaster," says Craig Gordon, a Utah Avalanche Center forecaster. You might be within sight of a lift and just 100 or 200 feet outside the boundary, but you are on your own, he says.

Cost. The two session program is $150 for the general public or $100 for Brighton season pass holders. Payment is by cash. 

To register contact patroller Peter Tucker: [email protected]