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Opportunities for Gaining Avalanche Experience in the Front Range

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
My son is a geography major at CU with an interest in hydrology and snow science. As a junior he is looking for opportunities to gain experience in these areas in preparation for graduate studies and research. Anyone have any idea if ski patrol at any of the areas near Boulder (Eldora, Winter Park, Copper, Breckenridge, Keystone, or Arapahoe) would ever give someone like him (a very strong skier with a little bit of back country experience) an opportunity to shadow or participate in avalanche control (and perhaps training in this area)? At this point, pay would not be an issue. It is experience and training that he is looking for. He has a pass for Winter Park and Copper so the only thinkg he would need would be a pass at other areas.

Alternatively if there were any other opportunities in these areas outside of the ski resorts he would also be interested.

post #2 of 6
I know that Loveland is looking for volunteer patrollers, and they certainly do quite a bit of avy control up on the ridge. He would have to be able to commit to patrolling a certain number of days per quarter (they divide the season up into quarters), and this could conceivably be difficult depending on his class schedule. Patrollers get a free pass.
post #3 of 6
He would also have to have is OEC certification to patrol at loveland (EMT or OEC elsewhere).

Most ski areas will not allow any non-patroller to accompany an avalanche control crew. Many ski areas will not allow any patroller who is not trained for avalanche control to go on a control route. Liability's a bitch. Try CDOT or a small operation?
post #4 of 6

Let me see if I can get a handle on this. Your wondering if an area will give your kid a pass so he can tag along and "shadow" avalanche control work?

No.....I don't think so.

Good try I must say.

Take a glance at the Eldora site and you'll see a list of avalanche courses.
post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 

I guess that's one way to interpret my post. My intention, however, was to open the door to get ideas from others here. Both DP and Summit have provided useful suggestions. Another I got by PM was to have him check with the avalanche center in terms of being able to get some kind of internship. This, I think is the best suggestion yet and I'm disappointed that neither I or my son didn't think of it right away.

BTW, the pass thing was only mentioned because while he is willing to volunteer he can not afford another pass beyond the one he has. This is a true academic pursuit on his part and is not being used to gain access to skiing opportunities (although he would certainly love to combine the academics with some skiing if possible).

BTW, if anyone reading has any suggestions for spring or summer experiences relating to mountain hydrology and snow science (including for example run-off or other areas of study) please chime in as we would be very interested.
post #6 of 6
Si, have a look here especially the very bottom link.

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