For the last 3 months I have been instructing a semester program for the Colorado Outward Bound School. The course starts with a winter camping section in Colorado, followed by rock climbing in California, canyoneering in Utah, a Wilderness First Responder course and ends with a three week section in Ecuador, where we hike for two weeks and attempt to climb a 18,700’ glaciated volcano. There is no denying this course is badass and I feel lucky to have gotten to be a part of the whole process, from teaching technical skills to facilitating student growth.
Tahoe's recent poor winter seasons had left me scarred, hoping and waiting for snow. Then January hit, the phenomenon being described as an "atmospheric river" opened up new zones to explore, but new snow creates variable avalanche conditions and problems that need to be observed and mitigated. I set out with my splitboard in hand to see what the new snow had brought.