As we outlined in earlier parts of this series, our instructors are expected to possess a wealth of experiences, as well as areas of knowledge and skills that educate and keep course participants safe, engaged, and active in the backcountry.
An example of that is learning about cloud formations and their relationship to weather. Just like constellations(see: Look Up: A Guide to Viewing the Upper Half of Our Surroundings and bird identification (see: Look Up and Meet Your Feathered Friends), learning the individual names and characteristics of clouds can be a fascinating and worthwhile enterprise, not to mention informative and highly useful from a risk management perspective.
In this, the third and final installment in our “Look Up” series, we cover how to identify the clouds overhead and what those clouds are telling us. Because learning this skill is yet another way our AEE-accredited outdoor education program scaffolds leadership and learning in the backcountry.
Why clouds are important
Clouds, which help regulate temperature and are needed for precipitation, are invaluable in the water cycle. Identifying and them is important in the backcountry, where a sudden weather change can make or break a hike, climb, or whitewater