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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

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Avalanche awareness classes scheduled by Idaho Panhandle experts

Following snow covered Forest Service roads snowmobilers gain elevation and access to outstanding off-trail powder, terrain, snow bowls, and scenery. (Craig Hill)
Following snow covered Forest Service roads snowmobilers gain elevation and access to outstanding off-trail powder, terrain, snow bowls, and scenery. (Craig Hill)

WINTER SPORTS --  Backcountry travelers are urged to sign up for one of several free avalanche classes being presented by the Idaho Panhandle Avalanche Center as well as Idaho State Parks and Recreation.

While groups can book special avalanche classes -- The Spokane Mountaineers have a session booked in January -- here are public sessions scheduled so far:

In Sandpoint, the following two-hour presentations start at 6 p.m. in the new Forest Service Building, west of town on the way to Dover.

Dec. 15, “Beacon Practice Avy Gear Review.”

Jan. 10, “Fire and Ice, Risk Assessment and Situational Awareness.”

Jan. 27-28, Special indoor and outdoor training especially for snowmobilers. (Check it out at Idaho State Parks snowmobile eduation program)

Feb. 10, “Ten Years of Avalanche Fatalities in North Idaho.”

Info: Kevin Davis  (208) 265-6686

A Silver Valley class, “Avalanche Awareness, Route Finding, and Rescue,” is sent for Jan. 21 at the Forest Service building in Smelterville. The indoors session starts at 10 a.m. followed in the afternoon by a field session for beacon practice and rescue training at Mullan Pass.

Info: Dan Frigard, (208) 883-2131.

In Coeur d’Alene, Idaho State Parks and the Avalanche Center will conduct free classes especially for snowmobilers on Jan. 13-14.

Info: Idaho State Parks snowmobile eduation program or call Marc Hildesheim, North Region trails specialist, (208) 769-1511.

The Idaho Panhandle Avalanche Center will begin issuing regular avalanche advisories on Friday mornings beginning Dec. 16, said Kevin Davis, Forest Service hydro tech in Sandpoint.

The center is working on a new website with information that will be available to smartphones.



Rich Landers
Rich Landers joined The Spokesman-Review in 1977. He is the Outdoors editor for the Sports Department writing and photographing stories about hiking, hunting, fishing, boating, conservation, nature and wildlife and related topics.

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