Winter Workshops from New Hampshire Chapter of the AMC

Just because it’s winter it doesn’t mean you have to hang up your backpack until spring. Come to Cardigan Lodge and learn how to go out and explore the NH wilds this winter safely and with confidence. Both workshops are designed to teach you what you need to know for safe travel in the winter mountains. Both sessions offer the same curriculum, except as noted below.

Workshops will be held twice: Jan 22-24 2010 and Feb 26-28 2010

Chose to participate in one topical area for one weekend or sign up for two topics on two different weekends. Classes are offered that cover most every aspect of winter backcountry travel & safety.

A. Introduction to Winter Wilderness Travel:
Instruction in general mountain safety, clothing, & equipment, nutrition, risk management & trip planning. Includes introduction to snowshoeing and map & compass. Intended for individuals with limited experience who would like to start winter activities safely. Anticipate hiking as much as three miles at a slow pace with occasional uphill grades.

B. Intermediate Winter Wilderness Travel:
Instruction in snowshoeing, route finding (map & compass) as well as general mountain safety, clothing & equipment, nutrition, risk management & trip planning. Intended for individuals with extensive 3-season experience in the outdoors but limited winter experience. Anticipate hiking/snowshoeing up to 5 miles at a mod/slow pace with sustained uphill grades.

C: Advanced Winter Wilderness Travel:
Instruction is offered in winter travel on steep terrain & above tree line. Subjects covered include snowshoeing on mountain terrain, use of crampons, dressing for extreme weather conditions, off-trail navigation & risk management Intended for individuals with winter experience in the outdoors who are interested in climbing NE mountains safely. Anticipate hiking 6+ miles at a mod/fast pace, steep terrain, & significant exposure to wind.

D: Introduction To Backcountry Skiing:
Instruction in basic backcountry skiing techniques, including use of equipment, trail travel (safety and some map & compass), gliding, stopping & turning. Participants will spend about 3-4 hrs a day outside on skis. Trips will be on ungroomed backcountry trails, & vary in length from 2-4 miles. Small elev. gains, with frequent small ups & downs. Be prepared to ski with day packs on. This class will only be offered for Workshop # 1.

E: Intermediate Backcountry Skiing:
Instruction in skiing technique, map & compass, general backcountry safety, clothing & equipment. Participants should be able to herringbone (to climb) & wedge to a stop, ready to learn wedge turns & possibly telemark turns. Trips will be 3-4 miles on fairly narrow, ungroomed backcountry trails with 500’elev. gain & loss. We will be outdoors 3 to 4 hours per day.

F: Advanced Backcountry Skiing:
Instruction in free-heel skiing techniques, with an emphasis on telemark turns, and necessary snow skills. Participants should be able to do wedge, step or basic tele turns. The majority of time will be spent outdoors with instruction on telemark turns, followed by 3 to 4 mile tours on backcountry trails. We will search for powder skiing in open trees.

G: Mountain Touring:
Instruction in general backcountry safety, clothing, equipment, navigation, and trip planning. Review of ski techniques for radical backcountry terrain. Participants should be able to do wedge & parallel, or tele turns. We will tour 5-6 miles with an elev. gain of 2000’. Conditions will include narrow trails, open tree skiing, bushwhacking, and some above-timberline windslab. This class will only be offered for Workshop # 2.

H: Leadership & Mountain Skills:
This section is for those who have mastered the basics of winter hiking. Exercises in planning, organizing, and expediting a trip. Emphasizing leadership techniques and group dynamics. A review of the basics, accident scene management, medical considerations and off trail navigation. This class is also for people with potential and desire to become trip leaders for the NH Chapter Excursions Committee. Proficiency on snowshoes is a prerequisite.

I: Introduction to Winter Backpacking:
For those that have mastered the basics of 3-season backpacking skills. Instruction in general winter mountain safety, snowshoeing, equipment, proper camp site selection and set up, cooking, trail finding, map & compass, off trail navigation, weather, trip planning, nutrition, emergency situations. Students will need winter clothing, a 20° below zero or lower sleeping bag, and foam pad. Tents can be provided if needed. This group will participate in indoor lectures and evening programs, sleeping outside Fri. & Sat. night, prepare 1 meal outdoors. This class will only be offered for Workshop # 1.

J: Intermediate Winter Backpacking:
Same as Introduction to Winter Backpacking except this group will spend more time outdoors. Students will sleep outside both Fri. & Sat. night and prepare 2 meals outdoors. This class will only be offered for Workshop # 2

Workshops will be held twice: Jan 22-24 2010 and Feb 26-28 2010

Workshops will begin promptly at 7:30 p.m. Friday evening and ends Sunday afternoon at ~ 4 p.m. Cost $120.00 (AMC members), $135.00 (nonmembers), includes lodging, excellent meals, materials, and instruction.

To register online go to

Or send a business size self addressed stamped envelope to the Registrar: Lynda Caine, 64 South Bow Rd., Hooksett, NH 03106. Send check or money with completed application or pay on line. You must be 18 years or older to attend. For more information please contact Director Rick Silverberg (603-225-5921, 7-10:30 p.m.).

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