Friday, December 24, 2004

Center offers avalanche education classes

The Sawtooth National Forest Avalanche Center is partnering with other local groups to offer several avalanche education classes this January.

The first program will be a three-hour avalanche basics class on Tuesday, Jan. 4 at the College of Southern Idaho campus in Hailey. Those who attend the class, which will run from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., will be asked to make a $5 donation at the door.

High school and middle school students can attend for free.

An optional field session will be held Saturday, Jan. 8, but the classroom session is a prerequisite to the field class.

According to Janet Kellam, director of the avalanche center, the program is designed for all types of backcountry travelers. If there is enough interest, class coordinators will put together a separate field session geared toward snowmobilers.

"Contact the Sawtooth National Forest Avalanche Center instructors at the class Tuesday night or stop in at Woodside RV and let them know you are interested," Kellam said.

On Monday, Jan. 10, the avalanche center is partnering with the city of Ketchum and St. Luke's Wood River Regional Medical Center to offer two, one-hour programs called "Living and Working in Avalanche Country."'

"This is geared toward anyone who lives here or visits our area," Kellam said. "Watch for upcoming details after the holidays."

If you miss all of these programs, there is another on Tuesday, Jan. 18 from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. at CSI's Hailey campus. The one-hour avalanche awareness lecture will be geared toward backcountry travelers, but will be useful for anyone seeking information about snow and avalanches, Kellam said.

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