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Gettin' Ready - first edition

Mother nature (with a little help) gifted the first Sportgevity Gettin' Ready kids avalanche clinic a classroom that we probably will not see again for many years. Just a week prior, Squaw Valley ski patrol took a 50 pound bomb, strapped it to a kiddie sled, and lowered it down onto the face of Granite Chief Peak, releasing a massive class 3 avalanche that peeled from a 6-7 foot crown and roared down the mountain at speeds of 80 mph, pouring through trees and leaving a pile of debris 15 feet deep. The scene of the aftermath demanded respect, especially from the 11-13 year olds, who had never seen anything like it.  

Our instructor, AIARE certified Rich Meyer and Squaw patroller Will Paden marched us through all aspects of the slide, including the crown, the bed surface, the stock wall, and the debris. The kids certainly got the message that these things are not be messed with. 
Rich spent much of the clinic making sure that the idea of prevention hit home. Decision making (individual and group), route finding, and routine methods of travel in avalanche terrain were hot topics. The kids loved the beacon training - there was candy involved. But setting off the airbags at the end took the cake!


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