Snowcraft Course – Report
By Libby Yeoman
The 1st of August was the Southland Sections introductory snowcraft course. It was run at The Remarkables ski field by Pete O’Neill and was attended by Nathan, Holly, Andrew and Libby. The course was preceded by a gear evening in Pete’s garage during the week where we discussed pros and cons of different types of alpine gear and gear selection for a trip. On the morning of the course we headed up the hill from the base building and learnt about techniques for walking in snow, using crampons, axes and group safety. Once we got up the hill a bit we moved on to self-arrest techniques, and after establishing some good icy slides we spent an enjoyable hour or so falling over and sliding down the hill feet-first and head-first with Pete passing us axes as we slid past so we could practice self-arresting.
After lunch the sun came out and we had a beautiful afternoon. We learnt about the use of transceivers and probes, and about snow layers and avalanche conditions. Pete showed us techniques for building snow bollards and using snow stakes and we had a discussion on route selection.
After some of Holly’s excellent home baking we packed up and went for a short walk to find some steeper terrain and practiced using crampons and axes using some of the techniques we had learnt earlier. It was a relaxed and fun group of people and everyone had a great day. A really valuable course and a great introduction to snow skills and alpine safety.
Posted By: Narina Sutherland