- PCT Class of 2023: Attend this class before you leave from the Mexican border to get your steep snow skills and understanding before you hit snow on the Desert Divide!
- Summer Hikers and approach snow-climbers: If you would like to extend your mountain hiking season into Spring and Fall, increase your safety awareness and confidence while snow-hiking, and get a general "taste" of what it takes to do, this is the way to start!
What is Snow Basics?
Mountain Education’s original snow safety course back in 1982 was a 3-day weekend outing where we took summer backpackers into the snow and taught them how to choose safe routes over mountainous landscape and not get lost, snowshoe up, down, and across inclined snow slopes, prevent getting wet and cold, snow-camp for a few days, and go home with the experience and confidence to plan their own trips in the future. Not everybody had 3-day weekends to immerse in a new adventure, so we created a shorter version, a 1-Day Snow Basic Clinic.
Who? All physically fit adults and their children over the age of 14.
What? These are introductory snow skills courses designed to teach you how to go winter snowshoeing or springtime snow-hiking over various types of snow in mountainous terrain and know what to confidently do and wisely not do, all while progressing toward your own snow-backpacking adventures in the future. Please read the Course Itinerary to learn more about what will be taught and what to expect doing!
Where? 2023 Clinics, Southern California, top of the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, 1 Tram Way, Palm Springs, CA
When? Most Saturdays from January to June, 8:00am to 4:00pm PST. View the full calendar and register here. Please read the entire Course Description, Itinerary, and Gear List before registering.
Why? To learn the “Whys” and “Hows” of the following topics explained from our experience unto your experience:
- Over-snow navigation techniques (How to get where you want to go without getting lost)
- How to stay warm and dry all the time
- The ease or difficulty of snow-hiking
- The hazards of snow-hiking (snow-blindness, postholing, dehydration, electrolyte imbalance, creek crossings, buried trees and bushes, avalanches, etc.)
- How to prevent slip-and-falls
- Safe movement over snow (ascent, descent, glissade, traverse)
- If you fall, how to stop the tumble = Self-Arrest
- Finding and reaching water at creeks and lakes (so you don’t fall in)
- Assessing snow bridge stability before crossing a creek that’s frozen-over
- How to predict the weather so you don’t get buried under snow
Distance, Gain, Elevations: Two and a half (2.4) miles round trip, 400 feet of elevation gain (8400 – 8800 feet)
- Parking: $12
- Tram (adults/seniors/children): $30/$28/$18
- Instruction: Free
Mountain Education is a non-profit, public charity, 501(c)(3), tax-deductible organization.
Check out the course curriculum for a detailed list of how to prepare, what to bring and what to expect.