Backcountry Snowshoeing Skills Course - Kitsap - 2014

Snowshoeing Course

Snowshoe/Winter Travel Course

Snowshoe/Winter Travel Course - Kitsap

COVID-19: Learn about our most up-to-date guidance for participants and leaders on our COVID-19 Response page. All participants and leaders must agree to the COVID-19 Code of Conduct before participating in this Mountaineers course.

Class will be taught at the Poulsbo Fire House,  located at 911 NE Liberty Road, near cross street HWY 305 Poulsbo, WA           The class will begin at 6 PM on the 17 and 18th of December and go for 2 hours.

Everything you wanted to know about travelling in winter by snowshoe. This 4 hour (broken into 2 hour classes over 2 days) class is going to first cover beginning and moderate level snowshoe material, then move to advanced winter backcountry travel skills. Please read all the details before you elect to commit to attending the class.

Contact the Course Leader for a copy of the student guide in pdf format.

Objectives: Upon completion of this training session and field trips, the attendee should be able to:

1. Select and plan a snowshoe trip and route to avoid or minimize hazards while comfortably snowshoeing or traveling at their own comfortable pace.

2. Identify the required level of cardio vascular fitness for winter level events.

3. Discuss and demonstrate methods of preventing overheating or excessive cooling during activities.

4. Recognize symptoms and take decisive First Aid action for a winter weather related injury or condition.

5. Select apparel and equipment which provide minimum acceptable comfort for expected weather and anticipated worst case scenarios, ensuring an enjoyable outing for winter conditions.

6. FIELD TRIP: Demonstrate the ability to work in a group of snowshoers to optimize the speed, flexibility, and energy of the group.

7. FIELD TRIP: Identify and discuss factors in the field contributing to unstable snowpack conditions.

8. Discuss the action to take in the event you are caught in an avalanche.

9. Recognize previous avalanches and be able to describe why they occurred.

10. FIELD TRIP: Dig a snow pit and identify layers.

11. FIELD TRIP: Dig and apply a Rutschblock test evaluation to snow pack stability.

12. FIELD TRIP: Detect density differences in snowpack with an avalanche probe.

13. Know proper action in “White Out” conditions.

14. Be able to discuss what you would do in the event you are caught in conditions that require you to spend the night when you are not equipped as a backpacker. (Emergency Shelter Situation)

15. Recognize early on, the cause of accidents as reported in the Accidents in North American Mountaineering series.

16. Identify and demonstrate methods to properly traverse steep slopes that have snow covering by using an ice axe. Also part of FIELD TRIP. 

17. FUN!!!! Identify and demonstrate ice axe self arrest technique from all initial positions with a backpack and be ready to develop these skills in the field. Also part of FIELD TRIP. 

18. Discuss methods to ascend steep slopes by means of self belay, step kicking, or employment of snowshoe crampons and demonstrate these skills on FIELD TRIP.

19. Identify methods to work in a team of winter travelers to optimize the speed, flexibility, and energy of the team and demonstrate these skills in the field. This will be part a very standard part of all our field trips. 

20. Using the Mountaineers Kitsap Branch's state of the art digital avalanche transceivers, conduct a search to locate a buried transceiver. Part of FIELD TRIP. 

21. FUN!!! Discuss methods to glissade and control your glissade with an ice axe and demonstrate these skills in the field. Part of FIELD TRIP. 

The Field Trips, hopefully limited to 3, are scheduled based upon snow conditions. The first Field Trip is normally to Hurricane Ridge, and we generally try to do the Ice Axe training at Hurricane. 

Badges you will earn:

Course Requirements

This course has no scheduled activities.

Additional badges needed to graduate


Required Equipment

Kitsap requires technical snowshoes with MSR equivalent crampon capability.

Gaiters are strongly recommended.

An Ice Axe with leash is required for axe training and glissade classes.

Course Materials

You must register for this course to see course materials.