Skills and abilities for winter CDT attempt


Wilderness First Responder

Many areas of the CDT are very remote, and more so during Winter. We need to be able to take care of one another. I don't have the WFR-certification yet, but will complete a NOLS WFR course this fall. Swiss tour guides only need a first aid course, oddly, but that is likely because medical assistance here in Switzerland arrives 8-12 minutes(!) after being alerted, if the weather allows.

Advanced Downhill Skier

We will see all snow types. We will be tired and carry heavy packs. We will need to be able to safely circumnavigate objective hazards. We need to ski at an advanced level.

Experienced Winter Camper

Building a snow cave, choosing a safe campsite, having a dialed winter sleeping system (down to about -30°C [-23°F]) are necessary skills.


Avalanche Training

I guide groups in all avalanche conditions, adjusting to safe terrain, dependent on the group's abilities. I would welcome a role-based group structure, and can comfortably take the role for assessing avalanche danger. I make mistakes, and the more eyes looking at the conditions, the lesser the chance of missing signs of danger. If you are an experienced winter backcountry ski tourer, you should also have avalanche training. With my experience mentoring successful tour guide aspirants, I feel I can help you apply your training, but you need the fundamentals first.

Mental Strength Training

Winter is cold, windy and snowy. I love it but it still can get to me. I can center myself with meditation. I can forgive harshness, moodiness, etc. and go back to being a relaxed and joyful partner. It's a skill. You need to exhibit a similar ability when I inevitably forget to be thankful and open. Mental resilience is key when we get our butts kicked.

Physical conditioning

We need to be consistently fast. The risk of an overuse injury, overtraining, or of a ski injury due to fatigue is high. Carrying a heavy pack through deep snow is hard work. Furthermore, we need to be similarly fast. Social tension due to differing fitness is a problem. We should complete one of the Uphill Athlete courses (probably the 12 Week Grand Traverse Training Plan) together, at the very least.