Arc'teryx Backcountry AcademyWe participated in the Arc'teryx Backcountry Academy a couple weeks back in Jackson Hole and it was a blast. There were some clinics focused on ski touring and some on safe travel. I went for the educational angle for the first two days, then headed out for an epic ski tour on day number three.
The clinics and guiding services were provided by Exum Guides—all of whom were totally pro and fun at the same time.
Here's a shot of our Ropes/Crevasse Rescue course group working on a 6:1 pulley system. I learnt that I have a lot to learn—and that's good to know.
Here's day 2 with guide Benja. It was a full-day Avalanche Refresher Course—a good idea for anyone. Benja wisely brought us to a zone on Snow King Resort that was low angle (no danger) but still showed many telltale avy signs, like shooting cracks, whumphs and weak layers. In other words, it was great for learning.
Day three was spent out in "the Park" (that's Grand Teton National Park). After a classically long Teton approach to the 25-Short Ridge, our group decided to take the "adventury" option and head down the Logjam Couloir. After a bit of a choke, it skied really nicely. When in doubt, always go for adventure. Here we are looking down the guts of Logjam. (photo: Justin Lamoureux)
The academy brought together people from around the globe—everyone with a love for playing on the snow safely. On top of the days' activities, there were movies, bands, photo comps and more each night. Fun fun.
Arc'teryx hosts two other academies this year: an Alpine Academy coming up in Chamonix/Mont Blanc in July, and a Climbing Academy in Squamish in August. Judging on the success of the Backcountry Academy in Jackson Hole, hopefully we can look forward to a repeat in 2020. I can't think of a better way to spend 4 days.