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When snow gives way

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Students Blake Peters, right, and Matt Amelino dig as classmates watch during an avalanche rescue scenario at the top of Rabbit Ears Pass. The students were taking part in an avalanche awareness class offered by Colorado Mountain College. Photo by John F. Russell

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Student Ignacio Escarpenter uses a beacon as classmate Blake Peters attempt to find a lost item during an avalanche rescue scenario at the top of Buffalo Pass. The students were taking part in an avalanche awareness class offered by Colorado Mountain College. The course was a mix of in-class, and field learning. Photo by John F. Russell

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Colorado Mountain College student Steve Rasso prepares to head into the backcountry at the top of Rabbit Ears Pass for his avalanche awareness class. Photo by John F. Russell

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Students review the proper use of an avalanche beacon before trekking into the backcountry at the top of Rabbit Ears Pass for an avalanche awareness class. Photo by John F. Russell

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Colorado Mountain College student Tristan Mundt searches for a lost beacon while practicing a backcountry rescue near the top of Rabbit Ears Pass. As part of the class, students trekked into the backcountry and practiced scenarios that reinforced what they learned in the classroom. Photo by John F. Russell

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Colorado Mountain College student Tristan Mundt searches for a lost beacon while practicing a backcountry rescue near the top of Rabbit Ears Pass. As part of the class, students trekked into the backcountry and practiced scenarios that reinforced what they learned in the classroom. Photo by John F. Russell

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Student Drew Vaughn uses an avalanche beacon to locate another beacon that had been buried under the snow at a training site at the top of Rabbit Ears Pass. The students were taking part in an avalanche awareness class offered by Colorado Mountain College. The course was a mix of in-class and field learning. Photo by John F. Russell

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Students in an entry-level avalanche awareness class offered by Colorado Mountain College head into the backcountry to learn the basics of companion rescue. Photo by John F. Russell

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Students in an entry-level avalanche awareness class offered by Colorado Mountain College head into the backcountry to learn the basics of companion rescue. Photo by John F. Russell

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Colorado Mountain College students prepare to head into the field as part of an avalanche awareness class. Photo by John F. Russell

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Colorado Mountain College instructor Cody Perry watches a video with students during the class portion of an avalanche awareness. Students also trekked into the backcountry, where they practiced scenarios that reinforced what they learned in the classroom. Photo by John F. Russell

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Colorado Mountain College instructor Cody Perry shares statistics during the class portion of an Avalanche Awareness and Safety Level I class. Students also trekked into the backcountry, where they practiced scenarios that reinforced what they learned in the classroom. Photo by John F. Russell

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Colorado Mountain College instructor Cody Perry shares statistics during the class portion of an Avalanche Awareness and Safety Level I class. Students also trekked into the backcountry, where they practiced scenarios that reinforced what they learned in the classroom. Photo by John F. Russell

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Cody Perry teaches an avalanche awareness class at Colorado Mountain College. Photo by John F. Russell

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Cody Perry teaches an avalanche awareness class at Colorado Mountain College. Photo by John F. Russell

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