We are lucky to have several highly trained avalanche instructors on our patrol. Every year they offer multiple classes to our patrol with opportunities to learn new skills and refresh old skills.
The AVSP will offer occasional avalanche awareness seminars to the public, but enrolling in an AIARE Level 1 Avalanche Course should be considered a minimum. There are several excellent courses taught locally. Please check with NWAC for local course listings.
Do you know About "Beacon Park" at Alpental?
Beacon Park is a self-directed transceiver search practice area near the Alpental Ski Resort. Bring your transceiver and probe (if you don't have a probe, fixed length probes are available). The park is East of, and across the road from, the main Alpental Ski Area parking lot. A control box is located on a pole on the right-hand side, about 25 feet uphill. The control box allows you to select easy, medium, and expert scenarios (e.g. single and multiple burials). When you find a 'victim' with your probe (please no digging!), a light flashes and horn sounds at the control box. When you have found all the victims, the control box will tell you how long it took to find each victim.
Beacon Park at Alpental is funded and maintained by the Alpental B.A.R.K. organization. The park is open 7 days a week during the winter, dependent upon snow. The park is also used by the Forest Service, Kittitas and King County Rescue groups, Alpental Ski Patrol, and other professional guiding services.
In addition to self directed use by interested individuals and groups, classes are taught on companion rescue and good backcountry practices. The classes include: proper beacon, probe and shovel usage, practice two person burials (one meter deep), and simulated rescue (recovery in 15 minutes or less).