On-Snow Sessions December 2016

We are pleased to announce open registration for our On-Snow Sessions!  Please read this entire message as it should answer most, if not all, of the questions you may have about the course before you register.

We will be offering two days for participants to choose from this year.

WHAT:  FOSJ On-Snow Session

WHEN*:  Saturday, December 3,  2015 from 10:00am-3:00pm AND                       Sunday, December 4, 2016  from 10:00am-3:00pm

*(Participants only need to attend ONE day of their choice)

WHERE:  Andrews Lake parking lot, just south of Molas Pass


Course Description:

  • In a 5 hour field session, participants will be able to apply the basic concepts covered in our classroom session, including preparation & communication, terrain recognition & avoidance, smart travel protocol, basic snowpack understanding, and safety gear use.

Course Outcomes:

  • Understand the importance of group dynamics, communication, and decision making
  • Identify avalanche terrain based on slope angle, including terrain traps and gullies
  • Understand the complexity of snowpack and layering
  • Learn basic smart travel protocol
  • Beacon, probe and shovel basics with practice
  • Witness a successful companion rescue demonstration
  • Understand what we don’t know

In the morning, you will be broken up into groups of no more than 7 students.   You will be led by one of FOSJ’s Lead Instructors, with an additional Assistant Instructor.  Our Instructors are there to make sure everyone in the group feels comfortable, is engaged & participating, and has a good time.  Your active participation and questions are welcomed!   Instructors have been trained on topics that will need to be covered throughout the day.   All Instructors have met strict requirements set forth by both FOSJ and the American Avalanche Association (AAA) for their experience and teaching ability.  For your safety our Instructors are also certified in Wilderness First Aid or higher.

Participants in FOSJ’s On-Snow Session must meet all of the following requirements:

  • Have attended one of FOSJ’s Avalanche Awareness Classroom Presentations; or WILL be attending Nov. 29 or Dec. 1 Presentation
  • Have the minimum required safety equipment—beacon, probe, shovel, pack
  • Have sufficient uphill winter travel gear by one of the following methods:
    • AT/Tele setup with climbing skins
    • Split board setup with climbing skins
    • Backcountry Nordic/hybrid skis with metal edges and fish scales
    • Snowshoes

**Participants need to be comfortable travelling in variable backcountry conditions that may include ice, deep snow, and some uphill routes. Due to these constraints, we are unable to accommodate for boot packing, conventional Nordic/skate skis, toboggans, saucers, sleds or snowlerblades. Pine Needle rents AT set ups with skins included for $50, with FOSJ members receiving a 20% discount.

  • Be in moderate physical shape—although we will not be going on any extended tour or even that far from the parking area, throughout the day you will be exerting energy performing beacon drills, practicing with your probe, and shoveling.
  • Register online:
  • There are a limited number of spots available, and it is on a first come first served basis. Please register only if you are 100% committed.   Registered participants will receive a follow up email confirming registration with additional information.   
  • Liability Waiver form must be completed, signed and dated and turned in on the day of the course.  Waiver can be found here:    FOSJ Waiver

We ask that you are totally geared up and ready to go no later than 10:00am.  Please come prepared to be outside for the entire day.  We ask that you bring your own supply of water, food, clothing, sunscreen, etc.  If you have a first aid kit, inclinometer, or any other cool avalanche tools or gadgets, please bring them!  We will debrief and wrap things up by 3:00pm.  Please carpool with your friends and colleagues as parking is limited.

We look forward to spending the day with you!