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SheJumps Into Avalanche Awareness Clinic Spokane: Know Before You Go

This introduction to avalanche safety clinic is a great course for beginners looking to become more knowledgeable and safe while touring in the backcountry as well as a great refresher course for the more experienced backcountry enthusiast looking to brush up on their knowledge before hitting the mountains this season. Whether you snow-shoe, cross-country ski, downhill ski, or rock a splitboard, this course is for you – no previous education is required!

We can host up to 145 ladies comfortably in Gonzaga’s Wolff Auditorium and the cost is a very affordable $12.00 per head, so bring a friend! Cost is $10.00 if you have a student I.D. Proceeds go to

This Facebook page just serves as a reminder for the event, you must officially register on Eventbrite to attend.

A driving force in the creation of this event is to create the opportunity to connect like-minded women of the outdoors and to learn how to be more knowledgeable and safe when travelling in the backcountry. You may even walk out with a prize or two! Local sponsors for the event are Kevin Davis of Idaho Panhandle Avalanche Center (IPAC), Larry Banks and Mike Brede of Panhandle Backcountry (our instructors), Gonzaga University, and Gonzaga Outdoors (our hosts).

What to Expect:

Our class will be taught by Kevin Davis (Director of IPAC), Mike Brede (Skier), and Larry Banks (Splitboarder); creators of Panhandle Backcountry is an organization that promotes backcountry skiing and splitboarding in North Idaho, Eastern Washington and Northwestern Montana (the Selkirks, Kettle Range, Bitterroots, Cabinets and St Joes). Join their community to participate in the forums where you can organize tours and events, check trip reports and route information, share snowpack observations and conditions, and talk about or trade your gear.

Class time will last approximately 3 hours and will cover some basic information for backcountry skiing/riding. This course targets the young or unaware backcountry traveler, and the more experienced traveler looking for a refresher. We will introduce the recognition of avalanche danger and how to reduce the risk. Handouts will be given to attendees for reference and we will demonstrate how to properly use avalanche safety tools such as the transceiver, shovel, probe, ABS Avalanche bags, etc. The course utilizes interactive presentation materials and local case histories and we encourages questions from the audience.

This Avalanche Awareness course is expected to:

-Introduce and explain to students where and why avalanches occur: -Recognize Red Flags: What are they and how do you know -Identify Avalanche Terrain: A Blank canvas can be deadly -Discuss local snowpack anomalies (the main differences between Northern Selkirks & St Joe’s/Silver Valley with simple examples)Describe who gets caught and why

Travel Safely: -Provide resources for evaluating weather and snow (Know Before You Go) -How you access terrain -What’s the objective? -Communication (everyone has a word) -You or your partner is caught in an avalanche: What do you do? -Provide a basic approach to staying safe in the backcountry

Student Learning Outcomes: -Learn to access local avalanche bulletins and weather reports -Recognize basic signs of avalanche danger -Learn to avoid avalanche danger -Understand the need for companion rescue techniques and equipment -Participants that are, or wish to be, more than casual users of the backcountry are encouraged to take a multiple day avalanche course

Fundraiser Proceeds: When we are done with our clinic, everyone should have a basic understanding of how to travel safely in the backcountry as well as walk away with some fantastic prizes! Did I mention there will be a sweet raffle? With entry to this event everyone will receive a raffle ticket for a chance to win some gear! Additional raffle tickets will be available for purchase and there will also be SheJumps Girafficorn swag for sale at the event. We can take both cash and credit cards for raffle ticket and swag purchases.

Proceeds from the event will go to to help facilitate more women’s events like this in our area. is a 501c(3) nonprofit organization with a mission to increase the participation of females in outdoor activities. A portion of the proceeds will also go to the Idaho Panhandle Avalanche Center (IPAC). The Friends of IPAC is a non-profit 501c3, organized to support and contribute to the educational and public advisory activities provided for the public by the Idaho Panhandle Avalanche Center.

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