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Sarah Carpenter: Checklists and Backcountry Decision-Making

Author(s): Northwest Avalanche Center
Video Release Date: November 3, 2016
Video Source: YouTube

Over the past 5 years, we have built a checklist that guides backcountry users through a backcountry day. It starts with pre-trip planning, moves through what to look for on a tour, and ends with questions for debriefing the day and sending observations to the forecast center. We have centered our level 1 curriculum around this checklist and have had great success applying this to backcountry travel. I’d love to talk to folks about the history of checklist use and how to apply this checklist. While covering the checklist procedures, the talk addresses avalanche problems, avalanche hazard and how to better understand it, avalanche terrain and route selection, and communication and group dynamics. Bio: Sarah Carpenter is the co-owner of the American Avalanche Institute. She has been working in the field of snow and snow science since 1998, when she started as a ski patroller at Bridger Bowl in Bozeman, MT. She teaches level 1, 2, and 3 avalanche courses throughout the West during the winter. Sarah is also an AMGA certified ski guide and works as a ski guide for the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort and Exum Mountain Guides.

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