"If your wife drives you to drink, have her drive you to Abe's."

-Bumpersticker seen in Arroyo Seco. Great place.


On Feb 7, 2012, at 9:47 PM, "Mark P. Renson" <[log in to unmask]>  

> I barely made it on time after I screwed up my alarm clock and got  
> onto the highway without shaving and grooming - I ultimately did  
> that in the parking lot at Smuggs.  I had to meet the other  
> instructors - Les the Cochran's PD and Chuck the Himalayan climber -  
> for our annual Level 1 Avalanche at Smuggs.  We had to resort to  
> using a cramped conference room where the tables were packed in a U  
> formation but with no space in between the opposite sides.  This  
> actually made for some very good bonding and a great classroom  
> session.  The students actually had fun taking turns making the  
> coffee which was all but in arm’s length of everyone. We agreed that 
>  we want to do this physical layout again.
> Our class was very strong - b/c skiers, 2 Certified Patrol  
> candidates, an FDNY paramedic/high angle rescue specialist and some  
> professional guides as well as a group of 4 from New York who are  
> planning on ascending Denali this May (they just got bag form  
> bagging Whitney via the Mountaineers Route).  Additionally, a couple  
> from New Jersey who did very well in the MTR-1 Jonathan and I  
> instructed last October 
> welcome.html were present.
> So, Friday's class lasted well past 6PM which makes for a long day.   
> Snow outside the class was very sparse.  The next day we had a short  
> classroom session where I pretty much dissed the ppt presentation  
> for “Trip Planning” and conducted a Guides Meeting, instead,  
> based on the AIARE manual and such sessions I have experienced in Ca 
> nada, Wyoming and New England.  I think this went over very well in  
> many ways and I want to push this format more.  Our couple from New  
> Jersey winter camped at the top of the notch in preparation for the  
> MTR-2 on Mousilauke (sp?) and provided valuable info on the weather  
> there.  After that, we headed for the Notch trailhead on Route 108 a 
> nd on the way up, whaddya' know, some Smuggs magic happened with 10c 
> m new and much depper snow.  Our strong group stormed up to the top  
> of the Notch where an HS of 100cm was had with multiple crust layers 
> .  It was too agonizingly strenuous to do a rutschblock, hence I pos 
> tponed it and let someone else demo it on Sunday.  I dug lotsa' pits 
>  though and I was able to find facets around the crusts and lecture  
> on that as well as the storm layer (15cm of new over a few days). Th 
> e class smoked the rescue scenario and then assisted us in breaking  
> down the classroom later on.  After dinner in inner city Jeffersonvi 
> lle, getting to sleep was very easy as these days are very demanding 
>  to instruct!
> Sunday morning, I found 1-2mm surface hoar on some snow on my truck  
> parked at the Deer Run ............. right next to Robbies Wildlife  
> Refuge which I have yet to go into but appears to be to Smuggs/ 
> Jeffersonville as Abe's is to Taos/Arroyo Seco NM.  Linda, a  
> certified Smuggs patroller back from Utah joined us and was able to  
> provide valuable instructing inputs including finding a graupel  
> layer per her observations at home the prior week which formed a  
> waek interface between the storm snow and crust.  After taking our  
> free ski run (first hour at Smuggs is free) on Sterling, we headed  
> to Sterling Pond for more training.  We found 4-6mm surface hoar  
> which everyone was able to drool over by viewing through my  
> macroscope.  This was all a good snow education - the students know  
> what melt-freeze looks like, graupel layers, storm interfaces,  
> faceting around crusts and surface hoar!  We gave them a tough  
> rescue scenario which they completed and we ascended via Black  
> Snake, providing encouragement to a novice skier (one of the ones  
> going to Denali) and having great fun.  We advised that the Smuggs  
> Parking Lot #1 was rated as the second best tailgating scene in the  
> country and many students maintained that reputation!
> I grabbed something to eat at the Cupboard in downtown  
> Jeffersonville (highly recommended with it's many different homemade  
> wraps and cookies) and plunked some deposits in the collection bin  
> out front set up by Boy Scout Troop #39 before heading back to  
> Massachusetts via Route 15 - Google Maps sez' Route 15 to I-93 is  
> actually the quickest way and I knew it would be a nice change of  
> pace from the usual I-89 Shuffle.
> Mark P. Renson
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