committee / excursions

Annual Winter Hiking, Skiing, Leadership Workshop

Annual Winter Hiking, Skiing & Leadership Workshop
Instruction in safe Winter mountain travel for experienced 3-season hikers
January 30 - February 1, 2015 (First workshop)
February 27 - March 1, 2015 (Second workshop)
Cardigan Lodge, Alexandria, NH
Winter is no reason to stay inside.

The winter hiking season is just around the corner, are you prepared?

This workshop offers instruction in safe Winter mountain travel to experienced 3-season hikers. Among the many available classes, most every aspect of winter backcountry travel is covered.  The weekend is filled with instruction, field exercises, lectures, and discussions. ` And when you’re not learning, there is plenty of great food to fuel you back up!

Just because it’s winter it doesn’t mean you have to hang up your backpack until spring.  Learn how to go out and explore the NH wilds this winter safely and with confidence.  Once again this winter, the NH Chapter will sponsor two training workshops.  They’re designed to teach you what you what you need to know for safe travel in the winter mountains; what to wear, what to take, how to use it, how to get there, how to get back, and how to plan for the unplanned.  Both workshops will offer the same curriculum, except as noted below.  All sections include extensive time outdoors.  The first one, The NH Chapter Annual Winter Workshop # 1, will be held on Jan. 31 - feb. 2.  The second workshop, Workshop # 2, will be held on Feb. 28 - Mar. 2. Both weekends of learning and fun run from Friday night until Sunday afternoon and are conducted at the Cardigan Lodge.

A variety of instructional groups are offered that cover most every aspect winter backcountry travel and safety.  The weekend is filled with instruction, field exercises, lectures, and group discussions.  Your time will be divided between your individual class and activities for the entire workshop.  When you’re not learning, there is plenty of great food to fuel you back up!

Choose from one following classes.  If you are not sure which class is right for you, just give us a call and ask one of our Workshop Directors.  Once you’ve found a class, just fill out an application (below), and send it to us with your payment.  Please indicate which workshop, #1 or #2, you want to attend.  You can find out how to contact the directors or get an application is at the end of this notice.

The classes offered at the workshops are as follows:

A. Introduction to Winter Wilderness Travel:

Instruction in general mountain safety, clothing, & equipment, nutrition, risk management & trip planning.  Instruction includes an introduction to snowshoeing as well as map & compass.  This workshop section is intended for individuals with limited experience in the New England outdoors who would like to start winter activities safely.  Anticipate hiking as much as three miles at a slow pace with occasional uphill grades.

B.  Intermediate Snow Shoeing:

Instruction in snowshoeing, route finding (map & compass) as well as general mountain safety, clothing & equipment, nutrition, risk management & trip planning.  This workshop section is intended for individuals with extensive 3-season experience in the New England outdoors, but limited winter experience, who would like to get into more winter activities safely.  Anticipate hiking/snowshoeing up to five miles at a moderate / slow pace with sustained uphill grades.

C: Back Country Ski Touring 101:

Want to expand your horizons beyond the golf courses and touring centers? Come learn how to explore the winter back woods on skis. We will cover how to travel efficiently on the ungroomed trails over rolling terrain and how to control speed by turning and stopping on modest hills. And we will address general back country safety. Expect to be outdoors playing in the snow on skis for 3-4 hours each day and ski 2-4 miles. Be prepared to ski with a day pack.

D: Intermediate Back Country Ski Touring:

Ready to explore the wilderness for the day and go where you want with confidence? Spend the day in the woods to improve your skills including turning, stopping, climbing, trip planning and navigation. We'll be outdoors for about 5 hours each day skiing and learning on various terrain with your full day pack.

E: Advanced Winter Wilderness Travel:

Instruction offered in winter travel on steep terrain and above treeline. Subjects covered include snowshoeing on mountain terrain, use of crampons, dressing for extreme weather conditions, off-trail navigation and risk management. Intended for individuals with winter experience in the outdoors interested in climbing NE mountains safely. Anticipate hiking 6+ miles at moderate/fast pace, steep terrain, and significant exposure to wind.

F: Down Mountain Backcountry Skiing:

Tired of the crowded lift served areas? Leave them behind and explore the solitude of the backcountry. This course is intended (designed) for the down mountain skier who wants to jump the gap from the lift served area and “side” country to the backcountry. This is not a learn to telemark clinic but how to apply your front-country/lift-serve skiing skills to the backcountry on down-mountain trails. Strategies for skiing on backcountry terrain in New England "Powdah" (less than optimum snow conditions) will be reviewed. Be prepared to spend 4 to 6 hours per day outside, on skis and to ski with a pack on down mountain trails. This is not just for telemark skiers, backcountry skills and strategies for the AT skier will also be reviewed!

H: Leadership and Mountain Skills:

This section is for those who have mastered the basics of winter hiking.  Exercises in planning, organizing, and expediting a trip with emphasis on leadership techniques and group dynamics.  A review of the basics, accident scene management, medical considerations and off trail navigation.  This section is also for people with potential and desire to become trip leaders for the NH Chapter Excursions Committee.  NOTE: proficiency on snowshoes is a prerequisite.

I: Introduction to Winter Backpacking:

For those that have mastered the basics of 3-season backpacking skills.  Instruction (will cover as many of these topics as possible) in general winter mountain safety, snowshoeing, equipment, proper camp site selection, how to erect a tent in winter, how & what to cook, trail finding, map & compass, off trail navigation, weather, trip planning, nutrition, emergency situations.  Warning: All participants must have proper winter clothing, a winter sleeping bag that has a rating of 20° below zero or lower, a winter foam pad and a winter backpacking tent.  Tents will be provided if needed.  This group will participate in indoor lectures and evening programs, sleeping outside Fri. & Sat. night, prepare 1 meal outdoors.  This class will only be offered for Workshop # 1.

J: Intermediate Winter Backpacking:

Same as Introduction to Winter Backpacking except this group will be spending more time outdoors.  They will not participate in most lectures or evening program, will sleep outside both Fri. & Sat. night, prepare 2 meals outdoors.  This class will only be offered for Workshop # 2.

The workshops will begin promptly at 7:30 P.M.  Friday evening and end Sunday afternoon at approximately  4 P.M.  This is a school for everyone who wants to learn and have a great time.  Cost $150.00 (AMC members), $170.00 (nonmembers), includes lodging, excellent meals, materials, and instruction.


On-line Application:
Please apply via our on-line application to ensure the accuracy and priority of your application.  You may access the on-line detailed information and application here.  (If the link doesn't work then type or paste "" into the address line of your browser.)  If this is your first time using our online registration form, you must first create an account. Otherwise, login with your password.  Then after you have completed the registration form, please send your payment to:
  Rick Silverberg, 29 Albin Rd. Bow NH 03304

Written Application:
For those unable or unwilling to do the on-line application you may download the application here (PDF).
Send a large (No. 10, 4.12"X 9.5") self addressed envelope with first class postage with your telephone number to the Registrar:
  Rick Silverberg, 29 Albin Rd. Bow NH 03304
Please send a separate envelope and postage for each applicant.  Please indicate which workshop (#1 or #2) you want to attend.

Once you have your application, fill it out and send it with your payment to the registrar.  You must be 18 years or older to attend.

Workshop Director:

If unsure of attending and need more info please contact Director Rick Silverberg (603-225-5921, 7-10:30 p.m.)

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