Top Ten Reasons to Get On It.
“IF ANY ONE GROUP IN THE WORLD TODAY REALLY NEEDS AVALANCHE EDUCATION, IT IS MOUNTAIN SLEDDERS” – Niko Weis Avalanche Education
Imagine it. You’ve been there. It’s a perfect -2˚ with blue-bird skies and chest-deep powder. The kind of day you wish for every month of the year.
The perfect line up of all the elements. The sleds running great. All your buddies are there. It’s time for a quick lunch break, and that’s when you hear it. The CRACK, then POP as you’re taking a sip of you energy drink/beer. The sound of a passenger jet fills you ears as you look up to see what is certain to be your last sight.
Niko Weis Avalanche Education specialized in Avalanche Education for sledders. You name it, they’ve heard it, they’ve seen it, they’ve taught. In fact, they’re so experienced that if you ask your next avalanche education instructor who taught them what they know and I’ll bet you dollars to donuts that it was Niko Weis.
The NWAE program wants you to get on it and get educated. It won’t take that much of your time and it has the potential to give you infinitely more. Time, that is.
According to the crew at NWAE, without avalanche skills and knowledge you can expect to be:
- Chased, knocked down and then crushed by 100,000 pounds of snow moving at 150 KPH, without warning!
- Running a red light without recognizing it….and then plowed down by a train.
- Getting buried alive (not for long)…
- Smashed on trees and thrown off cliffs…
- Trying to find a needle in a hay stack…
and none of that sounds that good. Here’s their list of The Top 10 Reasons you can’t wait any longer to take your first real course or upgrade to an AST2:
- COMPANION RESCUE SKILLS SAVE LIVES | Sledders are saving each other and themselves with the tools and skills they learn at courses every season…ask Dan Treadway.
- MOUNTAIN SLEDS PROVIDE ACCESS TO AND TRAVEL ON SNOWY SLOPES THAT ARE UNPARALLELED IN SPORT | Gets you way into the deep end & fast.
- MOUNTAIN SLEDS TRIGGER AVALANCHES MORE EFFECTIVELY THAN OTHER RECREATIONALISTS | 50 cm deeper down in the snowpack and avalanches that are bigger (Bigger isn’t better….)
- THE SPORT NEEDS TO MANAGE ITS IMAGE | Public opinion is fickle. Risk tolerance and public funding of search and rescue threaten our access and freedoms. Also, insurance companies will give you a discount if you have a course!
- THE PEOPLE IN YOUR LIFE THAT CARE ABOUT YOU | Well, let’s just say they don’t want your buddy to come to the door with the news that you are not coming home….
- YOU CAN’T REALLY OUTRUN THEM ALL | 90 % of slides are triggered by the victim in the starting zone; it’s like getting bucked off a horse in the middle of a landslide on a 38 degree slope.
- WHEN YOU ENTER THE BACKCOUNTRY, YOU’RE ENTERING THE STONE AGE | No rules, no signage, no life guards what could possibly go wrong? You are the Guide and if you lead others you need to take the more advanced AST2 course.
- MANAGE YOUR FUN AND YOUR GROUP – MANAGE THE RISK | Or join the growing statistics putting mountain sledders at the lead of the death toll in North America.
- INFORMATION CAN SAVE YOUR LIFE, BUT IT’S A FOREIGN LANGUAGE | Public avalanche bulletins and reading the signs of the mountain are crucial for your terrain selection and decision making.
- THIS IS OUR SPORT; IT’S FUN…THAT’S WHY WE DO IT. | Fun taken seriously = more fun in the long run…for all of us 🙂
Join the Niko Weis Avalanche Education team at a LIVE TO RIDE or other SUPER CLINIC course; come have some fun at a Sled-Specific avalanche course run by professionals in sledding and avalanches; learn and perform all the practical skills, hands on and in the field for real world application by riders just like you!
Niko Weis is an avalanche professional and educator since 1986 specializing in Avalanche Search and Rescue and Sled Specific avalanche Education.
Todd Eberts is a Professional Mountain Sledder and Avalanche Educator bringing his brand of energy and realism to every course.