The first snow has fallen on the Pyrenees and it will not be long before the winter season starts.
I like to attend this annual training day on avalanche risk. The event put on in Toulouse, is at the start of November and I find the day a great way to prepare before the start of the winter season proper. This year, the day was hosted by the FFME, the French Mountain and Climbing Federation, in Toulouse. Last year the event was also in Toulouse but hosted by Meteo France.
The main speaker was Francois Sivardière, technical consultant on avalanches to the FFME and a former director of ANENA, Association National pour l'Etude de la Neige et des Avalanche (1994 - 2007).
The talks, including some more practical sessions about route choice, covered skills and knowledge familiar to me from my training as an International Mountain Leader, but were a valuable refresher about a subject which is crucial when looking after groups in the winter environment.
Other venues for this traing day: Chambéry/Aix les Bains (20 November), Paris (4 December) and Munster (11 December 2010). Further details here.
ANENA also run Avalanche Risk Training days. Grenoble (4 December) and Paris (11 December). Further details here.