International Snow Science Workshop (ISSW) is a gathering for people who love
snow. This week-long conference is held every two years in a location that
alternates between the US, Canada, and Europe. The next ISSW will be held in
Fernie, BC, October 4 – 9, 2020, which means it’s a great opportunity for those
of us in western Canada who work—and play—in the snow to attend.
Participating in an ISSW is always a great experience, both intellectually and socially. Check out issw2020.com and keep an eye on that site over the winter as more events and opportunities are posted. If you’ve attended an ISSSW before, you’ll know what a great experience it is. And if you’ve never attended, Fernie 2020 is going to be a great place to start. Hope to see you there!
Cancellation/Interruption insurance for CSGI Courses
understand that occasionally events occur that prevent you from completing your
CSGI course. You can’t predict a road closure, flight schedule change,
sickness of a family member or your own injury.
any financial hardship an unexpected cancellation or interruption could cause,
we strongly recommend purchasing Trip Cancellation/Interruption to protect your
CSGI Course investment.
Cancellation/Interruption costs about 5% or 6% of your fees and it’s worth the
peace of mind! An example of premium costs is outlined below.
The CSGA and the LKMB Committee is pleased to announce the first recipient of the Lisa Korthals Memorial Bursary.
The recipient for the 2018-2019 season is presented to Jessica Roy.
Jessica is a guide at Baldface Lodge in Nelson BC. She successfully completed her CSGI Level 2 certification in 2018 and is a current CSGA Member in good standing. More recently, she completed the ski touring module that was offered this Spring at Mt. Carlyle Lodge.
Jessica demonstrates a passion for the mountains which she happily shares with her group. In addition to her guiding skills, her hard skills were demonstrated at an above standard level, having the fastest transceiver and rope rescue times on the 2018 level 2 CSGI course.
In the Spirit of Lisa, the bursary committee looks forward to watching her grow as a guide in the mountains and mentor the women who come behind her.
We encourage all women involved in the CSGI stream of courses to apply for the bursary. More information can be found at www.canskiguide.com
take 20 minutes to tell us about your work experience and opinions on work and
fatigue with the Wilderness Ski Guiding industry. By participating in the
survey, you have the option to be entered into a draw for one of two $50 Visa
survey has been designed by Optimal FiT Inc. in collaboration with Ian Tomm,
sector consultant, and the support of HeliCat Canada and numerous other sector
trade associations. It considers recognized best practices for managing
workplace fatigue and is open to all workers in the sector. Completed surveys
will be stored and analyzed by Optimal FiT Inc. and discrete data destroyed
after the project is completed.
survey is a first step in understanding fatigue in this unique and
internationally recognized sector. By taking this survey, you will help
this project identify the extent that fatigue may impact performance and
safety. Results will be used to focus further discussions and identify
actions and next steps to improve.
project is funded in part by WorkSafeBC’s Small Initiative Funding and is
Association of Canadian Mountain Guides
Backcountry Lodges of BC Association
Canadian Avalanche Association
Canadian Ski Guide Association
HeliCat Canada Association
you have any questions or concerns about the purpose of this survey or how the
data will be used, please do not hesitate to contact:
Principal Human Factors and Fatigue Specialist, Optimal FiT Inc. firstname.lastname@example.org
NEW STRUCTURE Beginning in winter 2020-21, the Avalanche Operations Level 2 program assumes a new configuration. Instead of the current three module system, we move toward two components: Avalanche Operations Level 2 and Avalanche Operations Level 2 Assessment. The first component, named Avalanche Operations Level 2, is a combination of the current modules 1 and 2. The second component, named Avalanche Operations Level 2 Assessment, is the same as the current module 3 where students’ skills and competency, in both technical knowledge and practical application of Level 2 concepts, are evaluated (see Fig. 1 below) Given the changes, there will be benefits, challenges and implications for current students.
WHY? The driver behind the Level 1 and Level 2 curriculum development and course delivery modification is the Competency Aligned Avalanche Risk Management Training (CAARAT) project. For the past three years, we have worked to align curriculum to the competency profiles. The project is also an opportunity to improve, revise, update, and revisit courses that normally only see small scale changes on an annual basis.
CHANGES The idea of combining Modules 1 and 2 was proposed by a Level 2 working group during a CAARAT project meeting in June 2018. This group is composed of CAARAT project members, representatives from the industry, CAA students, ADAPT project members, and Industry Training Program instructors. The proposed idea was then approved by the CAA’s education committee later that summer. As with any change, there are benefits and costs as well as implications for current students. Below are some of the benefits and costs that were identified by the Level 2 working group.
Benefits: • More fluid learning progression from concepts to application • Better continuity and opportunity for instructors to provide feedback • A mix of indoor and outdoor activities to break up classroom time • Integration of theory with practice • Reduced time spent reviewing prior learnings • Less expensive for students (fewer sessions, less travel) Challenges • Students must attend a 7 to 8-day course during the winter season • Shifts between field and classroom days (i.e. continuity of weather and snowpack tracking) • Enrollment per course limited to 18 students (vs. 30-36 on current Module 1) Ultimately, it is recognized that more time off during the winter months comes at a cost to both students and employers. However, it was deemed that the benefits outweigh these costs.
BLAST FROM THE PAST The Avalanche Operations Level 2 program began in the late 70’s and was originally delivered as an 8-day course which included several assessments. In 2002 the CAA implemented a significant change in the Level 2 program where it went from being an all-in-one course to three modules. The outcomes of the three-module course delivery were excellent: a more comprehensive curriculum, additional time for feedback and coaching in a non-evaluative environment, interactive student exercises, and an opportunity for career professional development. Over time, it became evident to Level 2 instructors that there is a disconnect between the Module 1 classroom concepts and actual application of that learning during the field-based Module 2 (for example linking Module 1 lessons on situational awareness to field work objectives on the Module 2). The time between Modules 1 and 2, at least 1 month and up to a year, made it difficult for students to retain key learnings. Changes to the Avalanche Operations Level 2 training are coming into effect to create an environment that better supports learning, application, and retention.
IMPLICATIONS FOR CURRENT STUDENTS At this point, we will be running Avalanche Operations Level 2 courses as per usual for winter 2019/20. However, there is a caveat. Newly approved applicants must complete both Modules 1 and 2 during the 2019-20 season. If these applicants are unable to complete both modules in the 2019- 20 season, they must defer registration until the following winter. Level 2 students who are in the program already (e.g. they’ve taken a Module 1 or 2 this winter 2018/19) must complete the remainder of their modules next season (2019/20). In brief: • Level 2 students who have taken a Module 1 or 2 this winter (2018/19) must complete the remainder of their modules next season (2019/20) • Newly approved applicants (2019/20) must complete both Modules 1 and 2 during the 2019-20 season. Those unable to complete both modules in the 2019-20 season must defer registration until the following winter
SUMMARY The Avalanche Operations Level 2 program has stood the test of time. This is the first large-scale change in 17 years and, although there are challenges associated with this change, we believe that these are outweighed by the benefits of increased course quality and educational experience. We’re excited to see the Level 2 outcomes of the CAARAT project come to fruition in winter 2020/21. In the meantime, project team members are working hard behind the scenes to revise, update, and improve upon existing curriculum. If you have any questions, please contact Emily Grady, Industry Training Program Manager. Each year the CAA’s Industry Training Program modifies its courses based on new research, student & instructor feedback, and current best practices. At times, these modifications are more substantial and involve external funding. For example, over the past two years an ongoing project is working to align the Avalanche Operations Level 1 course curriculum1 with the CAA’s competency profiles.
See below to participate on a Research Survey about Ski Cutting, if you have a few minutes to contribute it would be much appreciated.
If you have anything you would like to share please send an email to: email@example.com
Hope your are all enjoying the Spring so far ! CSGA Administration
Ski Cutting: A Research Survey Ski cutting is a common practice for avalanche practitioners to test for unstable snow and to mitigate avalanche risk. It is also one that puts the practitioner in close proximity to avalanche hazard. For all its prevalence, ski cutting has rarely been the subject of academic study.
Bruce Jamieson and his fellow
researchers have created a survey to gather information about North American
practitioner experiences with ski cutting. The CAA encourages you to take the
survey if applicable to you. We look forward to sharing this information with
members when the survey analysis is complete.
The Lisa Korthals Memorial Bursary provides financial aid to those women who are pursuing a career in mechanized ski guiding through the CSGA. Eligible for any women applying to CSGI accredited courses such as CSGI Level 2, 3, SGSC or Touring Module. Preference will be given to someone that has already completed the Level 1 CSGI course and is looking to advance through the CSGA program.
The committee reserves the right to not award a bursary in any given year if a suitable candidate has not applied. At the discretion of the committee, there may also be multiple recipients in a given year. Funds will be transferred at the completion of the course. The course must initially be paid in full by you. Applicants should apply online. The following should be included in your application package:
An essay describing your development as a guide, how you feel you embody Lisa’s adventurous mountain spirit, your contribution to supporting others, female or otherwise, in the mountain environment and your future goals.
A reference letter from a mentor in the guiding industry
A resume of work experience and relevant personal adventures