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National Ski Patrol

Eastern Division

Fall 2011 Seminar of
Avalanche, Mountain Travel & Rescue, and Nordic Instructors

Northfield, Massachusetts

September 16 – 18, 2011

What to Bring


  • Bring whatever you need for two nights of car camping. (Alternative lodging options are also available nearby for those wishing to stay at an inn or motel.)
  • The campsite has large picnic tables, hibachis, a fire pit, and pit toilets.
  • The campground office will be closed, so bring your own water, food, ice, charcoal, and firewood. A supermarket and convenience store are located in Turners Falls, about two miles from the campground entrance.


  • Dress for a mix of classroom sessions and fairly short outdoor sessions at the skills refresher stations (i.e., around half an hour each at six different stations for about three hours outside total).
  • Bring a compass (with sighting mirror) and GPS (if you have one).
  • If you are an avalanche instructor, then bring your own transceiver for the beacon practice stations, but once you have demonstrated competence with that, we will have for demo all currently available models (which will also be provided for candidates and instructors in other areas).
  • For added avalanche rescue practice realism, bring a winter-time daypack, loaded as it would be for a ski tour, complete with dedicated sectional probe and collapsible snow shovel. This way, once you have located the beacon, then practice removing and assembling both your probe and shovel. (Remember, every second counts in avalanche rescue, and even small delays in removing and assembling rescue gear can add up!) And be sure to bring your typical winter skiing gloves, as well as the outer layers under which you would typically wear your beacon: this way, you will even practice unzipping your outer layers and turning your beacon to search, all while wearing your gloves (in potentially bitterly cold weather.)
  • If you are an MTR or Nordic instructor, bring gear for constructing a mechanical-advantage hauling/lowering system (if you have it, both for Saturday morning's refresher and for Sunday morning's SAR exercise); rigging an emergency "on-snow" sled (if you have it, both for Saturday morning's refresher and for Sunday morning's SAR excise, although we will provide the skis); and, setting up an emergency shelter (if you have it, and just for Saturday morning's refresher).

Dog Policy

If you want to bring a dog to the AMN meeting, please read the following conditions very carefully, and also think through the implications, i.e., adhering to these conditions will most likely be very difficult, and detract from your participation in the event, as well as possibly distract other attendees.

  • Dogs are allowed in the Barton Cove campground, yet must be attended at all times.
  • Dogs are allowed on the Northfield Mountain property (except during ski season).
  • Dogs are not allowed inside the visitor center building.
  • Yappie, barking, howling dogs are not allowed.
  • Aggressive or territorial dogs are not allowed.
  • Dogs must be: leashed and picked up after by owner.
  • Dogs are not to be left tied outside.
  • Dogs are not to be left unattended in vehicles. Exception: During an event such as the AMN meeting, if a dog was left in a vehicle, or crated, in the shade, along with adequate ventilation, and the owner was able to check in periodically, then that would be acceptable. But if the owner was going out on the trails (i.e., not in a meeting in or around the visitor center), then the owner would be expected to take the dog along on the trails, or instead make arrangements for someone else (not Northfield staff) to attend the dog while the owner was away on the trails.

For local information, contact Bill Schweikert at 413-498-5742 or wwschweik@yahoo.com

For information about program content, contact Jonthan Shefftz at NSPAMN@gmail.com