After some map reading basics and instruction on following a compass bearing, we practiced briefly in the open field in front of the ski lodge.
Then we hiked to the junction of the Stony Ledge and Roaring Brook trails. We calculated the bearing to the prominent turn in Sperry Road, and decided to "aim off" for the "S" in Sperry Road on the map.
In three separate groups, we traveled a distance of one mile and 1200' vertical over steep uneven terrain, including a gorge at the very beginning where we had to choose one side or the other.
The intended bearing is the bottom red line, and the actual bearing for one group is the top red line. We were off by less than two-and-a-half degrees, which translated into about 200 feet - nice job!
The decision making that got us here was a perfect application [albeit unintentionally so] of an avalanche-related phenomenon that I had brought up the previous evening...
A ski patrol Mountain Travel and Rescue course with actual mountain travel!
Our third instructor, Eric Z., had hiked up to our campground in the dark at the end of the first day. I was surprised that he'd brought a helmet and ice axe, although turned out not to be so bad an idea...
Back at the ski club lodge/hut, we wrapped up the course with a demonstration of winter travel gear and then some hands-on emergency sled construction. We had four setups:
- Don R. brought his own setup.
- I brought the new K2 Rescue Shovel, which although designed for skis from K2 (and also La Sportiva) still works reasonably well with my Trab Duo Sint Aero skis.
- I also brought a Brooks-Range sled.
- Yet another group had to construct a sled entirely from scratch.
The final two sleds were constructed with old junky skis, so we concluded with a contest dragging the sleds up the hill.
Dan M. is still looking comfy in his Brooks-Range sled, although Alexis K. looks like her improvised sled just hit a big bump...
Both sleds held up very well on the ascent, and the improvised sled even took a pretty wild descent with Rich A. brave up enough to act as the "patient"!