(Check out Part 1: Tools for Success)
- Route Legs labeled with a comment on each
- Each legs start and end elevation
- The leg elevation gain or loss
- Slope angle (if ski)
- Compass bearing (field or magnetic bearing0
- Leg distance
- Approximate time calculations
- GPS UTM or Lat/Long.
Step 4: Operational Plan - make the final plans
This piece sounds somewhat formal but can be as easy as a conversation with some note taking. The day of your departure have a chat about the planned objectives with your partner. Identify the hazards you may encounter along the way, both natural and human created. Record them in your field notebook. Is this objective still obtainable given the parties experience and the conditions?
Also, collect the weather forecast (avalanche forecast if appropriate) for the proposed time period and file it in your book. Make sure you go through some type of gear check along with this part of the plan to be prepared in case of emergency. This includes emergency phone numbers to SAR teams and for your family in the event of an injury. Establish a concrete plan for a turn around time if daylight is an issue, based on the calculations you have made in your tour plan above. Be willing and flexible to change your plans, and have other options available to you.
The rewards for a well planned ski tour!
-- Ben Traxler, AAI Instructor and Guider