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General => Epics and Accidents => Topic started by: darwined on December 29, 2013, 07:49:25 PM

Title: Avalanche on Mount Washington
Post by: darwined on December 29, 2013, 07:49:25 PM
WMUR is reporting two people were hospitalized after an 800' long fall that occurred when they were caught in an avalanche.  Details anyone?
Title: Re: Avalanche on Mount Washington
Post by: DLottmann on December 29, 2013, 09:17:18 PM
This was mentioned briefly in today's bulletin which can be found here:

http://www.mountwashingtonavalanchecenter.org/2013/12/29/

Specifically:

"Today we continue to have a combined avalanche problem of left over Storm Slabs and Wind Slabs.  Although many bed surfaces in our terrain are still broken up by rock cliffs, turf, and ice bulges limiting their size they are large enough to harbor unstable slabs sensitive to a human trigger.  This was tested last night when 2 hikers came down from summiting Washington and traveled into “the Lip” at dark and triggered an avalanche carrying them down to the floor of the Tuckerman Ravine.  They miraculously survived but sustained injuries requiring rescue during the overnight.  Through history there have been a number of very lucky people in the world, they are now 2 more of them.  More information will be posted in our accidents page later today."

As of right now an additional accident report is not up but I'll share it here when I see it. I have gathered this info, which has not been verified and is speculative:

They climbed up via Lions Head and intended to descend that route. Sometime after leaving the summit they got lost and ended up heading down into the Lip area of Tuckerman's.

The slab avalanche they triggered had a 2 meter crown line at it's highest and ran almost 120 meters horizontal. While those numbers are estimates (and not confirmed yet), they would indicate a F'ing big avalance that would be very unlikely to survive.

Some volunteer rescuers did not get home until 2am.

I'm hoping more details come soon, but preliminary info suggests the party probably started very late or moved very slow to be descending at 7pm. Navigational skills must have been minimal if their intended descent was Lion's Head. If they were planning on descending Lion's Head I find it very plausible they did not consult the avalanche bulletin or were un-aware of the risk they were taking descending the route they did...

Based on what I've heard of the slide it is pretty much a miracle they survived...

Everything other than what I quoted is speculative, and I hope we all get a better sense of what happened here over the next couple days...
Title: Re: Avalanche on Mount Washington
Post by: Admin Al on December 29, 2013, 09:43:41 PM
Wow...some lucky folks...
Title: Re: Avalanche on Mount Washington
Post by: DLottmann on December 29, 2013, 09:56:52 PM
WMUR is reporting two people were hospitalized after an 800' long fall that occurred when they were caught in an avalanche.  Details anyone?

One last point... media, and "us" need to stop saying "were caught in an avalanche".

This implies they did not choose to go there, or trigger it themselves, and it just "happened".

My driver's ed teacher in Highschool used to harp on how people who crashed their car would report it;

"The telephone pole was approaching fast..."

"The little old lady was all over the road before she went under my car"

My point is we use language that protects the victim by passing blame or indicating it was some kind of fluke accident...

They were not "caught" by some random act of nature... they triggered it by going to the wrong place at the wrong time, plain & simple.
Title: Re: Avalanche on Mount Washington
Post by: lucky luke on December 30, 2013, 12:40:41 AM
WMUR is reporting two people were hospitalized after an 800' long fall that occurred when they were caught in an avalanche.  Details anyone?

They said that: "Sunday’s advisory said that there was a moderate and low avalanche danger in Tuckerman Ravine and that human triggered avalanches were possible."

I think that it is not luck that save them. Climbing up hill in an avalanche slab and you have all the snow which burry you. Going down hill and just few feet of snow is over you if the crost broke at the top. I most say that the trail of Lyon head and lip is very similar. The difference is the cairn. when there is no cairn...it is a problem.

leadership: should we always keep the team together? It look like if the first group had wait for the slower one, even if they are not from the same party, they all had took the good trail. Also, if you are in a party, you most follow the leader. To be a good leader is very hard indeed. 
Title: Re: Avalanche on Mount Washington
Post by: DLottmann on December 30, 2013, 07:00:14 AM
I think that it is not luck that save them. Climbing up hill in an avalanche slab and you have all the snow which burry you. Going down hill and just few feet of snow is over you if the crost broke at the top.

Avalanches are often triggered from the top of the path, whether descending or ascending. Add that to the fact more than 80% of avalanche fatalities on Mt. Washington were from trauma, not asphyxiation, I have to disagree with your point here., “triggering it from the top is somewhat safer”.... dangerous generalization to make. Triggering from above means you get to take a longer ride.
Title: Re: Avalanche on Mount Washington
Post by: lucky luke on December 30, 2013, 11:18:11 AM
Avalanches are often triggered from the top of the path, whether descending or ascending. Add that to the fact more than 80% of avalanche fatalities on Mt. Washington were from trauma, not asphyxiation, I have to disagree with your point here., “triggering it from the top is somewhat safer”.... dangerous generalization to make. Triggering from above means you get to take a longer ride.

We used to trigger avalanches from the top to learn there dynamics. We went to an old sand pit and there was many shape of avalanche bed.

Mitigation behavior is to understand how an avalanche can be trigger and how to place our self to be safe. Never try to make an exercise while you came from under an avalanche path...always cut a real path from above where your rope is running down so if there is an avalanche, you won't be burry and the rope won't be cut.

As asphyxiation is not the major cause of death, we can understand that the climber is not burry by the avalanche, but drag to the bottom of the hill. Self arrest seems to be an essential knowledge to have. Protecting on rock before traversing a dangerous path is also a most. I don't thing that it is a way that people climb odell couloir. If you use mitigation method...running belay in odell will be avoid most of the time, going to an anchor place to an other anchor place (snow picket in the avalanche is not so good) is a better way to climb safely the couloir.
 

Title: Re: Avalanche on Mount Washington
Post by: darwined on December 30, 2013, 12:37:22 PM
WMUR is reporting two people were hospitalized after an 800' long fall that occurred when they were caught in an avalanche.  Details anyone?

One last point... media, and "us" need to stop saying "were caught in an avalanche".

This implies they did not choose to go there, or trigger it themselves, and it just "happened".

My driver's ed teacher in Highschool used to harp on how people who crashed their car would report it;

"The telephone pole was approaching fast..."

"The little old lady was all over the road before she went under my car"

My point is we use language that protects the victim by passing blame or indicating it was some kind of fluke accident...

They were not "caught" by some random act of nature... they triggered it by going to the wrong place at the wrong time, plain & simple.
FWIW How would I know who triggered the avalanche?  That wasn't part of the wmur story I read.  Just sayin
Title: Re: Avalanche on Mount Washington
Post by: frik on December 30, 2013, 03:23:17 PM
Luke.... you are officially retarded.
Title: Re: Avalanche on Mount Washington
Post by: lucky luke on December 30, 2013, 03:43:35 PM
They said that: "Sunday’s advisory said that there was a moderate and low avalanche danger in Tuckerman Ravine and that human triggered avalanches were possible."
Just for the record it happened on Saturday. It was posted considerable at the lip area where they were.
I don't have an opinion either way and I'm not siding with either of you nuts.  ;D
>
I google lip area tuckerman mt Washington and I found an article on the accident where the official said that it was moderate to low avalanche. Maybe a mistake, but a mistake that people can do.

Just think that it is always considerable danger and you will lower the danger by mitigation technique
Title: Re: Avalanche on Mount Washington
Post by: lucky luke on December 30, 2013, 07:16:48 PM
I google lip area tuckerman mt Washington and I found an article on the accident where the official said that it was moderate to low avalanche. Maybe a mistake, but a mistake that people can do.
It was a mistake in your comprehension.

Dave...I red an article in an electronic journal about the accident, I enlighted the text and copy it. I paste it directly in the forum.

So the mistake was done by a guy like you. Did he red too fast, had the good report, I don't know.   

I pasted it!!!!

For me, I read the bulletin to know the friction between layer. Not always easy to figure it out with your data. I always try to do, as I make mistake too, as if the danger is considerable. With low friction, I won't traverse a slab, with high friction, I will be very carefull
Title: Re: Avalanche on Mount Washington
Post by: JBro on December 30, 2013, 07:47:51 PM
I google lip area tuckerman mt Washington and I found an article on the accident where the official said that it was moderate to low avalanche. Maybe a mistake, but a mistake that people can do.
It was a mistake in your comprehension.

Dave...I red an article in an electronic journal about the accident, I enlighted the text and copy it. I paste it directly in the forum.

So the mistake was done by a guy like you. Did he red too fast, had the good report, I don't know.   

I pasted it!!!!

For me, I read the bulletin to know the friction between layer. Not always easy to figure it out with your data. I always try to do, as I make mistake too, as if the danger is considerable. With low friction, I won't traverse a slab, with high friction, I will be very carefull

You pasted it but you still made a mistake in comprehension. (I know you're actually just trolling but I will correct it here for all the gullible people.)

Here is the full quote:

"The Mount Washington Avalanche Center had reported in its avalanche advisory posted on its website Saturday morning that there was a considerable avalanche danger in "the Lip" area of the ravine, noting that human triggered avalanches "are likely." It warned hikers that "safe travel in avalanche terrain requires training and experience."

Sunday's advisory said that there was a moderate and low avalanche danger in Tuckerman Ravine and that human triggered avalanches were possible."

http://gazette.com/2-hikers-who-triggered-new-hampshire-avalanche-rescued/article/1511743

The article was correct for both Saturday (pre-accident) and Sunday (post-accident).
Title: Re: Avalanche on Mount Washington
Post by: lucky luke on December 30, 2013, 09:31:17 PM
The article was correct for both Saturday (pre-accident) and Sunday (post-accident).

A chance that the avalanche occur saturday at 5h30, if it was at 7 hours in the evening (tweve hours from both advisory) we won't know which advisory is good!!!

I understand. They made the post on saturday to sunday morning... and sunday morning, at seven approximately, the condition change dramatically to moderate and anybody would have been able to go in the cliff.

I respect the science behind the advisory and it is a good thing to have it. It is just a tool, but knowing the mitigation technique and practice them is a lot safer than a sign.
Title: Re: Avalanche on Mount Washington
Post by: tradmanclimbz on December 30, 2013, 10:00:15 PM
JB. wheres the Gif? 8)
Title: Re: Avalanche on Mount Washington
Post by: sneoh on December 30, 2013, 10:02:58 PM
Luke.... you are officially retarded.
No, not retarded.  More like pig-headed, bulldog to the core, and likely in denial! :)
Keith Richards does not need more drugs.  But LL/Champ does!! :)
Title: Re: Avalanche on Mount Washington
Post by: JBro on December 30, 2013, 10:37:19 PM
JB. wheres the Gif? 8)


Sorry my bad...


(http://i.imgur.com/xwS75dT.gif)
Title: Re: Avalanche on Mount Washington
Post by: JBro on December 30, 2013, 11:05:25 PM
The article was correct for both Saturday (pre-accident) and Sunday (post-accident).

A chance that the avalanche occur saturday at 5h30, if it was at 7 hours in the evening (tweve hours from both advisory) we won't know which advisory is good!!!

I understand. They made the post on saturday to sunday morning... and sunday morning, at seven approximately, the condition change dramatically to moderate and anybody would have been able to go in the cliff.

I respect the science behind the advisory and it is a good thing to have it. It is just a tool, but knowing the mitigation technique and practice them is a lot safer than a sign.

(http://media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m7f1ivvn9K1r8rtom.gif)


Are you suggesting that these hikers somehow had a premonition that the advisory would change from considerable to moderate before it was even posted the following morning so therefore they decided to proceed over the headwall without taking due caution?

The most likely scenario (without knowing for sure) is that these hikers didn't have any avalanche awareness skills and most likely didn't check the avalanche forecast before starting their hike. I believe the article stated they intended to ascend and descend via Lion's Head. The fact they took so long and also got off route suggests that, like most other winter hikers in New England, they probably didn't have avalanche awareness skills.

The forecast is fairly meaningless to this discussion. The only reason I posted the quote was to correct the misleading quote you posted.
Title: Re: Avalanche on Mount Washington
Post by: lucky luke on December 31, 2013, 01:55:44 AM
Are you suggesting that these hikers somehow had a premonition that the advisory would change from considerable to moderate before it was even posted the following morning so therefore they decided to proceed over the headwall without taking due caution?

"The duo were separated from a pair of fellow hikers and missed a turn on a trail because of low visibility and unknowingly entered an avalanche area known as “the Lip,” triggering the avalanche that carried them to the bottom of Tuckerman Ravine, said U.S. Forest Service spokeswoman Colleen Mainville."

Here I don't know why the duo were separated from a pair of fellow hikers. The advisory here is completely not on topic. If you enter an area of avalanche...and there is still snow on it...low or high danger is, for me, the same. I have been there in many withe out (visibility zero) and I most say that it is enjoyable to feel the element. But I just came from a walk in snow under zero from my work. The weather here is very similar to those on Mt Washington with wind around fifty miles per hours some days. I ice climbed at minus 4 or 5.

I don't say that to show off, but if you go up there, you most be ready. And knowing the mitigation technique is one way to be ready. Of course, a good knowledge of the place...follow the cairn to a very big rock where you pass by the left and where you can have some protection against the wind... it is route finding that we talk in trad rock-n-roll!!! Knowing the direction of the wind with the interference of the mountain to follow a direction. Keep the wind in your back or at fifty degree... I don't know if they had all that knowledge.

Why the people don't stay together at the top of the mountain and why both party didn't came back to the wood together? For me, it is the last think I went to do...walking with a slow unprepared hiker. But it is what save people and make them stronger. 

Title: Re: Avalanche on Mount Washington
Post by: darwined on December 31, 2013, 06:58:52 AM
"Low or high danger it is, for me, the same."

It should be no mystery, for you,  why no one will ever take your posts seriously.
Title: Re: Avalanche on Mount Washington
Post by: markvnh on December 31, 2013, 08:16:54 AM
Time to send these bozo's a bill! From a Boston Herald first person article:

We got to the summit, and then on the way down we ran into our friends and they were going to the summit and asked for us to wait. ... But the wind was going 70 miles per hour and there was a negative 20 wind chill. We decided that we had to keep moving. (We) were not familiar with Mount Washington at all, so when we came to the split between Lion’s Head and Tuckerman Ravine, we decided to take Tuckerman Ravine because that’s where I thought we came from.

What a joke. I think we need a southern border crossing checkpoint in NH! I know, they could have been from anywhere. Stupid knows no boundaries.
Title: Re: Avalanche on Mount Washington
Post by: frik on December 31, 2013, 08:28:34 AM
Sneoh,
Anyone who writes this:

"I think that it is not luck that save them. Climbing up hill in an avalanche slab and you have all the snow which burry you. Going down hill and just few feet of snow is over you if the crost broke at the top. I most say that the trail of Lyon head and lip is very similar. The difference is the cairn. when there is no cairn...it is a problem."

is retarded.... sorry but the diagnosis stands.
Title: Re: Avalanche on Mount Washington
Post by: DLottmann on December 31, 2013, 10:09:19 AM
Some of the press coverage:

http://www.conwaydailysun.com/index.php/newsx/local-news/110668-rescue-123113

http://bostonherald.com/news_opinion/local_coverage/2013/12/mass_hiker_recounts_near_fatal_avalanche

http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2013/12/30/two-hikers-injured-mount-washington-avalanche/tAhJNO9vMoLXvYWHT7x49H/story.html

http://www.unionleader.com/article/20131230/NEWHAMPSHIRE03/131239972
Title: Re: Avalanche on Mount Washington
Post by: markvnh on December 31, 2013, 10:51:32 AM
...at least most of the articles are referring to them as hikers and not climbers.
Title: Re: Avalanche on Mount Washington
Post by: lucky luke on December 31, 2013, 10:53:35 AM
http://www.conwaydailysun.com/index.php/newsx/local-news/110668-rescue-123113

for me it is leadership fault;
1- at the bottom before the climb: Be sure that all the climber have the right equipment for the weather. Look at the forecast for the next 12 hours and the last three days.

2- On the climb, keep the party together, that means that one guy take the decision and the other follow the leadership. Of course, there is eight kind of leadership and not al person like a kind of leadership

3- Know your partner before going in the mountain. irony...to know your partner, you most climb with them. the question is how could you know how a person will react when is life is threatening???

In fact, the accident bring a more interesting question???

what is leadership?

Not a sign...please!!!
Title: Re: Avalanche on Mount Washington
Post by: DLottmann on December 31, 2013, 11:01:05 AM
You really hate signs huh? The rest of the climbing/skiing community sees the bulletin as very useful and incorporates it into their decision making. You can continue to shun it, at your own peril.

I agree "mitigation" as you call it is important, but ignoring the advice of professionals is crazy. I know I can't change your mind, so I limit my effort to these 5 sentences.
Title: Re: Avalanche on Mount Washington
Post by: Pete Jackson on December 31, 2013, 11:18:06 AM
(We) were not familiar with Mount Washington at all, so when we came to the split between Lion’s Head and Tuckerman Ravine, we decided to take Tuckerman Ravine because that’s where I thought we came from.

I reserved my opinion until reading this sentence. Generally speaking, I think we give people too hard a time when they end up in a bad situation. Not in this case, though. I hope the victims of the avalanche are reading and learning.

Do not hike in an area where you are not familiar. Explore new places, sure, but for certain study the maps, trail names, intended route, and any alternate routes ahead of time. Being prepared means more than bringing a backpack and a parka. Missing a key 90-degree left-hand turn in the route, especially when the consequences put you right into extremely dangerous terrain, is a very amateur mistake.

I hope the hikers will consider hiring a guide next time they are hiking one of the most dangerous mountains in the northeast in the winter.
Title: Re: Avalanche on Mount Washington
Post by: DLottmann on December 31, 2013, 11:55:45 AM
My thoughts on it and this past weekend's avalanche course: http://davidlottmann.wordpress.com/2013/12/31/first-avalanche-course-of-the-season-and-first-avalanche-accident/
Title: Re: Avalanche on Mount Washington
Post by: eyebolter on December 31, 2013, 07:46:41 PM
"Injured and disoriented, the pair didn't know where they were, Carus said. They were unfamiliar with the terrain, and in the dark without maps or headlamps, he said, "they didn't know how to get out." They decided to climb back up to the lip, unaware that they could escape the bowl from the bottom. They made it about 200 feet uphill, Carus said, to the top of Lunch Rocks, before they stopped."

After the fall they tried to climb back up?   Oh boy....
Title: Re: Avalanche on Mount Washington
Post by: tstorm11 on December 31, 2013, 08:20:24 PM
Watch...In like 20 years these idiots will be on the cover of Alpinist and speaking at ice fests about some amazing FA on some unclimbed face in like India talking about the stupid shit they did when they were young....

But I doubt it... ;D
Title: Re: Avalanche on Mount Washington
Post by: Admin Al on January 01, 2014, 09:13:09 PM
in their own words...

http://bostonherald.com/news_opinion/local_coverage/2013/12/mass_hiker_recounts_near_fatal_avalanche
Title: Re: Avalanche on Mount Washington
Post by: DLottmann on January 01, 2014, 09:33:46 PM
in their own words...

http://bostonherald.com/news_opinion/local_coverage/2013/12/mass_hiker_recounts_near_fatal_avalanche

yup, that link is posted in my post from yesterday morning on this thread... nothing new here...

I did hear the one still in Maine Med on the radio this morning... recounting the free fall that was long enough to think about...
Title: Re: Avalanche on Mount Washington
Post by: lucky luke on January 02, 2014, 09:57:41 AM
You really hate signs huh? [....] I agree "mitigation" as you call it is important, but ignoring the advice of professionals is crazy. I know I can't change your mind, so I limit my effort to these 5 sentences.

My father was sign maker. I saw signs since I born. I know there value and how people can follow them blindly. Avalanches doesn't follow advisory post. They are always dangerous.

I follow experiences climbers who practice in harder situation than that. As I said, I work out in sand pit, small cliff in quebec, mt Washington and now I am ready for bigger mountain. I am not doing a winter hike for the first time in the mountain.

Look how easy it is to make mistake; Pete Jackson talk about a left turn. They came from the summit and the route is just on the left of lip area. So, they was very close to the summer trail. As they went to Lyon head, the trail was on the right. Jackson talk about a 90 degree left hand turn.... For me, it is a mistake gave by a professional. Coming from Huntington ravine, Lyon head is on the left. But that most imply that they took the road. Which is a very long way. Maybe it was a 270 degree left turn?

A signs versus experiences...I will always follow experiences.  and I always consider the danger as extreme.     
Title: Re: Avalanche on Mount Washington
Post by: DLottmann on January 02, 2014, 12:03:51 PM
Yes, avalanches are always dangerous. However their probability varies greatly through-out the season, day to day, and sometimes hour to hour...

The bulletin helps people figure out what the likelihood of an avalanche is on a given day... and to some extent the size and distribution of expected avalanche activity. It does not say "don't pay attention to changing conditions or use safe travel techniques (your mitigation thing)".

From every bulletin: "This advisory is just one tool to help you make your own decisions in avalanche terrain. You control your own risk by choosing where, when, and how you travel."
Title: Re: Avalanche on Mount Washington
Post by: JBro on January 02, 2014, 12:54:43 PM
(http://www.recordsale.de/cdpix/r/ratt-roundandround.jpg)
Title: Re: Avalanche on Mount Washington
Post by: lucky luke on January 04, 2014, 08:16:20 AM

From every bulletin: "This advisory is just one tool to help you make your own decisions in avalanche terrain. You control your own risk by choosing where, when, and how you travel."

Avalanche victims fall prey to heuristic traps
because heuristics are simple to use and they have
proven themselves in other areas of daily life  ( http://www.snowpit.com/articles/traps%20reprint.pdf  )

It is just one tool...and what is the other? A sign is easy to follow...turn right, turn left... but not always reliable.
Title: Re: Avalanche on Mount Washington
Post by: DLottmann on January 06, 2014, 01:35:41 PM
Tools:

Bulletin, Recognizing Human Factor's, Planning, Observing, Terrain Selection, Traveling Wisely.

Tools an AIARE course (from any provider) will give the back-country traveler:

AIARE Field Book- (Trip Plan and Field Ob pages for every tour)

DMF (Decision Making Framework)

Avalanche & Observations Reference Page (awesome for figuring out what is important to pay attention to based on the current "problem", i.e. Wind Slab, Storm Slab, Wet point Release, etc...)

Companion Rescue Quick Reference Card

Practice making these decisions and using these tools within small groups.

Find AIARE providers and more info on AIARE here:

http://avtraining.org/

See my very brief write-up of this past weekend's course here:

http://davidlottmann.wordpress.com/2014/01/06/aiare-1-avalanche-course-1214-1514/

Let's hope this rain turns back to snow soon!
Title: Re: Avalanche on Mount Washington
Post by: frik on January 06, 2014, 03:59:24 PM
DMan; That stuff is all well and good, but you left off the single most important tool - a functioning brain.
All the avy training, bulletins etc. on the planet is of no use, if those dolts couldn't figure out which trail they took up, or couldn't be bothered to even bring a map with them.   
Title: Re: Avalanche on Mount Washington
Post by: DLottmann on January 06, 2014, 04:37:15 PM
DMan; That stuff is all well and good, but you left off the single most important tool - a functioning brain.
All the avy training, bulletins etc. on the planet is of no use, if those dolts couldn't figure out which trail they took up, or couldn't be bothered to even bring a map with them.

Agreed, brain is most important. My post was a direct response to LL’s question “What other tools”, but you’re right. I’m trying not to judge them too harshly as a much younger me climbed Washington solo in the winter with probably the same amount of preparation (or lack of). In my case I was lucky. In their case they were luckier. All I can hope is the publicity their story stirred up has reached people who might think twice before trying something with potential dire outcomes without first seeking some solid skills/education/advice/etc.
Title: Re: Avalanche on Mount Washington
Post by: crazyt on January 06, 2014, 07:09:50 PM
Living is dangerous, no one gets out alive.  Yup, these kids screwed up and got lucky. But, so have I and probably more than once. My guess is that so has everyone on this forum at some time. I've learned from my mistakes and try to learn thru the screw ups of others. Still doesn't mean the mountains won't get me.
Title: Re: Avalanche on Mount Washington
Post by: sneoh on January 06, 2014, 08:17:08 PM
My guess is that so has everyone on this forum at some time. I've learned from my mistakes and try to learn thru the screw ups of others. Still doesn't mean the mountains won't get me.
So true, Tom.
Title: Re: Avalanche on Mount Washington
Post by: lucky luke on January 07, 2014, 12:09:44 PM

Tools an AIARE course (from any provider) will give the back-country traveler:

Advertising???

tools, the small scale mountain in pinckam nothc, close to the store to know the denivellation, weather forecast and avy, clothes, boots and helmet for the season, maps and compass, cairn, crampon hiking stick, ice tool, rope, pack sack, workout to be in good shape, previous experience from small to biggest situation with experience climber with leadership,  etc.

all those tools most be know with a deep understanding. You most know that this jacket will keep you warm to minus 10, but it is better to have a real experience of a walk, a cross ski racing, follow by bird observation close to a house at minus 10 to know what will really keep your warm when you are wet by transpiration.

Of course, long terms learning is better than short time one. In school, kids remember ten percent of what they learned at the end of the year. So it is an Avycourses. If you don't have time, yes it is better than nothing.

But be aware: learning to follow a sign and how good is the advisory don't make you an expert to survive in winter. Always remember that an advisory is like a rating in a sleeping bag. If they said minus 18, that doesn't mean that you are not going to be freezing at night.