2 part Rescue Course December 2017

AVALANCHE COMPANION RESCUE: A TEAM RESPONSIBILITY

FOSJ is excited to announce this special rescue clinic with Leo Lloyd. Leo is the technical rescue advisor for the San Juan County Search and Rescue Team, an instructor for the Silverton Avalanche School, and an EMS Captain/Firefighter with Durango Fire & Rescue. He has extensive wilderness and backcountry medical experience and has been on some of the most dramatic rescue missions in the San Juans.

In this two-part avalanche rescue workshop, we will explore and reinforce strategies in decision-making, planning, preparation, and “hands on” practice in implementing an effective small team avalanche rescue plan in the event of an avalanche accident. This course is ideal for the recreational winter backcountry user and will include realistic “scenario based” post-burial problem solving. This field clinic is a great follow up/supplement to FOSJ’s On-Snow Sessions!

Weds. Dec. 6  6:00pm-8:00pm Rescue Course Classroom @ Pine Needle Mountaineering in Durango.  FREE with no registration required.

Sat. Dec. 9  10:00am-2:00pm Rescue Course Field Session @ Andrews Lake/Molas Pass.  Advance registration is required HERE

On-Snow Sessions December 2-3, 2017

Greetings Friends!
We are pleased to announce open registration for our popular On-Snow Sessions to be held on Molas Pass/Andrews Lake area  on December 2 & 3, 2017.
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 2,  2017 from 10:00am-3:00pm AND              Sunday, December 3, 2017  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

COST:  FREE!

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.  Plan on being out in the elements the entire length of the course; we will not return to the parking lot until the course completion.

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. 16 or Nov. 28 Classes
  • 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 touring and playing in the snow.
  • Liability Waiver form must be printed, completed, signed and dated and turned in on the day of the course.  Waiver can be found HERE
  • Register online:

Participants under the age of 18 yrs old (minors) are welcome to join the course; however they must by accompanied by a parent or legal guardian who must also meet all the above requirements.

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.

We ask that you are totally geared up and ready to go no later than 10:00am on the day of your registration.   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.

FOR DOG OWNERS:  We ask for you to please not bring your dog with you for the day.  It is a pretty busy scene with not just our group but others as well and we’d like to avoid the added stress that comes with dogs, people, other dogs, sharp gear, cars, speeding traffic, etc.  Thank you for your understanding!

We look forward to spending the day with you!

2017-18 Class and Event Schedule

AVALANCHE COURSES:

All FOSJ Avalanche Awareness Classes are FREE and open to the public with no registration required, except as noted.  Just show up and bring your backcountry partners!

Thur. Nov. 16 6:30pm-8:00pm Avalanche Awareness Class @ Pine River Library in Bayfield

Fri. Nov. 17 6:00pm-8:00pm Snowmobile Avalanche Awareness Class @ the Fun Center in Durango

Tue. Nov. 28 6:00pm-8:00pm Avalanche Awareness Class @ Powerhouse Science Center in Durango

Sat. Dec. 2-Sun. Dec. 3 10:00am-3:00pm On-Snow Avalanche Field Sessions @ Andrews Lake/Molas Pass.  Prerequisite : FOSJ Avalanche Awareness Classroom Session in current year.  Advance registration for On-Snow Sessions is required HERE

Wed. Dec. 6  6:00pm-8:00pm Avalanche Rescue Class @ Pine Needle Mountaineering.

Thur. Dec. 7  6:30pm-8:00pm Avalanche Awareness Class @ Kokopelli Bike & Board in Cortez

Fri. Dec. 8  6:30pm-8:00pm Avalanche Awareness Class @ K9 SAR Doghouse in Dolores

Sat. Dec. 9 10:00am-2:00pm Avalanche Rescue Field Session @ Andrews Lake/Molas pass.  Advance Registration required HERE

Additional avalanche courses, workshops and intermediate courses to be scheduled…stay tuned!

UPCOMING EVENTS:

Thur. Dec. 7  CAIC Fundraiser at SKA Brewing in Durango.  Details to come!

Feburary – March 2017 Events!

Mon. Feb. 20  7:00pm
Telluride Mountain Club’s Winter Fundraising Film Night
Sheridan Opera House in Telluride
$10 at the door


Sat. Feb. 25 8:00am-4:30pm
Telluride Mountain Club Rescue Course
Information here
Limited space available!
$50 for general public
FREE for FOSJ Members**
**Members please contact fosj.info@gmail.com to register


Thur. March. 2  6:00-8:00pm
FOSJ Avalanche Awareness Class & Workshop Combo!
Pine Needle Mountaineering
6pm Awareness Class
7pm Workshop
Guest Speaker TBA


Sun. March 5
Purgatory Locals Benefit Day

Pine Needle Demo Day

Thur. April 6  6:00pm-8:00pm
FOSJ Spring Fundraiser
Khumbu Climbing Center presentation
Powerhouse Science Center
Special Guest:  Leo Lloyd from Durango Fire & Rescue
more details to come

January 2017 Events

Purgatory Locals Benefit Day:
Sun. Jan. 8
$45 Lift tickets!
$10 Demos from Pine Needle and other shops
Proceeds to benefit 4 local non-profits; FOSJ is one of them!

FOSJ Workshops:
Tue. Jan. 10 6:00pm at Pine Needle
Guest: Michael Ackerman with San Juan Mountain Guides
Topic: Backcountry Trip Planning Part 1–Teamwork and Communication

Thur. Jan. 12 6:00pm at Pine Needle
Guest: Jeff Dobronyi with San Juan Mountain Guides
Topic: Backcountry Trip Planning Part 2–Technology and Online Tools

More Workshops and Rescue Clinic re-schedule TBA–stay tuned!

FOSJ Member Meeting/Social:
Thur. Jan. 19. 6:00pm at Carvers back bar
Hear about FOSJ current & future initiatives
By invitation to current FOSJ Members; RSVP is required
Become a member to receive invite

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

COST:  FREE!

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!

Special events Fall 2016

  • Sat. Dec. 3  Durango Premier of Shades of Winter’s “Between”

    • Where: Durango Arts Center
    • Time: Two showings;  5:00pm and 8:30pm
    • Drawings for prizes to benefit FOSJ
    • Buy tickets HERE
  • Weds. Dec. 7 CAIC Fundraiser

    • Where:  Powerhouse Science Center, Durango
    • Time:  6:00pm
    • TONS of silent auction items, drawings for prizes
    • Stay tuned for more details….
  • Sun. Dec. 11 Locals Benefit Day

    • Where:  Purgatory Ski Area
    • $45 lift tickets and $10 gear demos from Pine Needle
    • Proceeds to benefit FOSJ and 3 other local non-profits!
    • More info found HERE

Check out our 2016/17 Avalanche Class Schedule HERE

Please give us feedback on how we can improve!

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Additional Courses added in February 2016

Greetings Friends,

We are excited to announce we have added additional avalanche courses in February!   Please visit our Avy Class Schedule page for updated course calendar.

Request a Know Before You Go (KBYG) Class 

Originally created for middle and high school students, KBYG can also be used for your employees, customers, volunteer groups, social clubs, scout troops, snow sports teams, or as a community presentation. Any and all ages and groups are welcome to utilize this free education program thanks to the Friends of CAIC.

Please contact us at fosj.info@gmail.com if you are interested in hosting a class.

FOSJ On-Snow Session December 5, 2015

We are pleased to announce open registration for our On-Snow Session!  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.  There will only be the one date offered for this year’s course.

WHAT:  FOSJ On-Snow Session

WHEN:  Saturday, December 5,  2015 from 10:00am-3:00pm

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

COST:  FREE!

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:

  • Witness a successful companion rescue demonstration
  • 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
  • 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.  These Instructors, or ‘Facilitators’ as we like to call them, are there to make sure everyone in the group feels comfortable, is engaged & participating, and has a good time.  Instructors have been trained on topics that will need to be covered throughout the day.  Your active participation and questions are welcomed!  All Instructors have met strict requirements set forth by both FOSJ and the American Avalanche Association (AAA) for their experience and teaching ability.

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

  • Have attended one of FOSJ’s Avalanche Awareness Classroom Sessions, including Pagosa classes
  • 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 HERE
  • 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.
  • 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!

Providing avalanche awareness and education in Southwest Colorado