Posts Tagged ‘R. Richards’

New Zealand Backcountry


Mt Eyre, NZ Backcountry

I feel a  backcountry ski  adventure coming on. Last week I ventured out  15 minutes from our house here in Kingston, New Zealand and ended up driving down a farm road, off the nearest side canyon from the main north-south road to NZ’s southern tip. A view similar to this can be seen from the main road, but the closer I got into the back valley, following the Mataura River, I was led to this view of Mt. Eyre.  This is not one of the major peaks in the area, by any stretch, but it’s close to our place and what looks like some good backcountry skiing potential. As we near winter down here in the southern hemisphere, I’ll getting my skis sharpened, this may be my a ski area of choice due to its proximity, at least to the trailhead.

Online Avalanche Education


Interactive Avalanche Education Online
From Backcountry Magazine,
By Lance Riek

Fracture Zone- Avalanche

Whether you’re just beginning to learn about avalanches, or you want to clean out the summer cobwebs, the American Avalanche Association online tutorial is the place to start,” says Doug Abromeit, director of the National Avalanche Center.

The interactive avalanche awareness tutorial, developed by the Sawtooth Avalanche Center forecaster Chris Lundy, is now online at The click-through, online tutorial covers the basics of indentifying unstable snow and avy terrain, how to travel safely, and how to perform a rescue. There are guidelines for avalanche class organization and progression, and a list of course providers and locations.

Care to dig deeper?  The U.S. Forest Service website, provides information on analyzing stability, performing stability tests, and decision-making to stay safe in avalanche country.

Editor’s Note: Backcountry Magazine is a long-standing publication which we recommend because of its focus on human-powered skiing rather than lift-served, the latter which  is…way passé. I’ve been reading the magazine for years.

Mountain Spirit Institute Founder R. Richards is certified  Avalanche Level II training and a certified Level II backcountry ski guide with PSIA-I.  Some of his training was under the legendary Alan Bard, in Bishop California,  and Richards has taken the AMGA Ski Guides Course among other trainings. He’s a 20+ year “individual member” of the American Mountain Guides Association.
Image: From How Stuff Works, courtesy NOAA