For reasons the directors cannot fathom, students are hesitant to go out on trips on Superbowl Sunday, despite the fact that programs return to campus well in advance of kickoff. However, the Wilderness Program took the opportunity to offer instructors a chance to head into the field with their peers and have some fun.
Taylor Luneau and Todd Wright worked with aspirant backcountry ski and snowboard instructors. They started with an equipment shakedown and review on campus and then travelled to Smugglers Notch Resort to work on skills. Up-skiing, skinning technique, kick turns, coaching process, and group management in the environment were the menu for the day. For additional fun, Todd and Taylor were strapped into the Brooks Range rescue sleds and the instructors spent some time pulling them uphill and found another reason to avoid injury deep in the backcountry. Despite the lack of fresh snow, the group was able to develop and practice skills needed to take students off-piste. It goes to show that if you have a firm idea of what needs to be learned, you can find a venue to make it happen.
|Working on some kick turns.|
|Morgan Brown enjoying the new split boards.|
|What's better than hauling one guy in a rescue sled?|
|The view from the skin up.|
|Sleeping van passengers indicates a successful day in the field.|
Mike Carlin and Eben Widlund took one instructor and 5 instructor candidates to the Guides Wall and Workout Wall in Smugglers Notch for a day of ice climbing. Despite 4 degree temperatures in the parking lot, the day turned into a very pleasant outing thanks in small part to the lack of wind. After a 20 minute walk up the road harness, helmets and crampons were donned to access the moderate angle ice of the Guides wall. A quick review of belay technique and everyone grabbed ice tools and started climbing. The group moved to progressively steeper sections of ice, finishing on the vertical terrain of the Workout Wall. Finally, it was time to head downhill as the light began to fade. While everyone found different challenges throughout the day, success in climbing was achieved, and fun was had by all.
|That's one way to keep warm.|
|A great day of climbging in the Notch!|