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avalanche awareness lecture posterPete Coombs attends an avalanche awareness lecture and explains what new and experienced off-piste skiers and snowboarders can learn from the talks, being held this week around the country.
The North Face Avalanche Lectures are an absolute must for anyone who wants to travel in the back country, or ski off piste. Expertly, yet informally, run by James Morland from Elemental Adventure Heli Skiing, the lectures give a great insight into the basic precautions and knowledge needed to minimise risk while skiing/snowboarding off piste.

After a brief introduction, we were left in no doubt about how serious the subject was, when James informed us as to why he’d volunteered to give the lectures. “In the last fifteen years of working in the mountains I know, personally, fifteen young people who have been killed in avalanches…”

That got our attention, and all in attendance realised that this was a serious business and we needed to take note of, and listen hard to, what was about to be said.

What followed was a very well put together and informative introduction into skiing/snowboarding in the back country. James kept us engaged with personal tales and used slides, stats and short video clips to guide us through various sections, from preparation and terrain choice, to the kit needed. It was never going to be a totally comprehensive lecture - experts can study the science of avalanches for years while still being unable to accurately predict one - but for the newcomer to the subject, it was the passing on of the vital questions one needs to ask oneself before heading away from the pistes, and the encouragement to gain more knowledge. To the experienced, it was a refreshing of the knowledge already known, and a reminder that you should keep searching out and storing up as much information on the subject as you can.

The lectures will be held across England in Snow+Rock stores. For further, and more comprehensive, avalanche instruction courses, please follow the links below.


Dates and Snow+Rock Locations

Monday Nov 5th, London Monument, 47-51 King William Street, London, EC4R 9AF

Tuesday Nov 6th, London Monument, 47-51 King William Street, London, EC4R 9AF

Wednesday Nov 7th, London Kensington, 188 Kensington High Street, Kensington, W8 7RG

Thursday Nov 8th, London Chertsey, Fordwater Road, Chertsey, KT16 8HH

Monday Nov 12th, Port Solent, Hampshire, The Boardwalk, Port Solent, Portsmouth, PO6 4TP

Tuesday Nov 13th, Bristol, Shield Retail Centre, Link Road, Filton, Bristol, BS34 7BR

Wednesday Nov 14th, Manchester Chill Factore, Trafford Way, Trafford Quays, Manchester, M41 7JA

Lectures start at 7.00pm
Tickets available from
£7 non Ski Club members, £5 Ski Club members and teens under 16.



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