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Snowmobile Based Avalanche Awareness and Companion Rescue Clinic - Coeur d'Alene

Saturday, February 17, 2018 -
9:00am to 4:00pm

Where - Coeur d'Alene

When - Saturday 9am - 4pm Feb 17 in Coeur d'Alene at the 4th of July snowmobile parking lot

Preregistration is required

Since avalanches are the number one cause of snowmobile fatalities in the west, the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation is presenting this free snowmobile based Avalanche Awareness presentation. This presentation is designed to familiarize the winter backcountry enthusiast with hazard recognition and techniques for safe travel in avalanche terrain. In 90 percent of the avalanche accidents, the victim or someone in the victim’s party triggers the avalanche. Avalanche conditions are predictable and many accidents can be prevented. If you are planning to ride in avalanche terrain, be sure to check the local avalanche forecast before your trip. We encourage you to take an avalanche awareness course if you ride in avalanche country, and check the United States Forest Service avalanche center forecast website. 

Topics covered:

  • Avalanche types and anatomy
  • Basic slab mechanics


  • Terrain evaluation and route selection
  • Travel protocols & group communication

Snowpack and Weather

  • Mountain snowpack development leading to instability or stability
  • Field observations, tests, and judging instability
  • Use of avalanche & snow pit tools: inclinometer, saw
  • Introduce elementary pit stability tests.
  • Avalanche & snow climates

Decision making - support tools

  • Human factors and the need for systematic decision tools
  • Application & limitations of decision tools
  • Regional Avalanche Centers
  • Avalanche bulletins


  • Companion rescue including scene size up, organization, beacon use, probing, shoveling
  • Recovery of victims not wearing beacons
  • Common mistakes in avalanche rescue
  • Single and multiple beacon search techniques
  • Role of first aid and emergency response in real avalanche rescues

Should I bring my personal transceiver? 

  • Yes, we will have a discussion on the use of transceivers. It will be beneficial to have your transceiver available, especially if it is new to you. 

4th of July Snowmobile Parking lot at I90 exit 28to NF3098, Coeur d'Alene, ID 83815

Contact: Ian Byrne @ (208) 769-1511 or Ian.Byrne@idpr.idaho.gov

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