Ahead of the Avalanche II 

With terrain like our dear state's, it's a crying shame not to take advantage of all that our backcountry peaks has to offer, but as we all know, avalanche education is essential before you go traipsing around in the great unknown. Several weeks ago, we reported on the avalanche classes offered by the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation, but they aren't the only game in town.

Sawtooth Mountain Guides is also readying for a first round of courses. SMG offers three sessions of a Level One course for basic backcountry skiing and snowboarding avalanche safety. Courses include multi-day trips to Williams Hut in the Sawtooths on December 9-11, January 6-8 and January 13-15. One multi-day Level Two course for tour leadership and avalanche hazard training takes place in Stanley February 2-5. A Level Three class is tentatively scheduled with the date yet to be announced. For more information on SMG's courses, call (208) 774-3324 or visit www. sawtoothguides.com.

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