With winter knocking on the door in the northern hemisphere, it’s time to start thinking about snow safety. We recently came across a couple of good videos illustrating the horror of triggering an avalanche in the backcountry, highlighting the importance of snow safety knowledge.
Dan Treadway Snowmobile Avalanche PSA by Backcountry Access:
Dan was rescued by his crew of competent partners through the use of standard snow safety equipment: avalanche transceiver (beacon), shovel, and probe.
Swiss Freerider Avalanche:
In this case, the Swiss Freerider eluded the avalanche by escaping off to the skier’s right flank of the slide path, after being warned by his partner.
Both of these videos show how quickly and unexpectedly an avalanche can break out around you. Once this occurs, the only thing that will save you is the knowledge, preparation and training of both you and your partners. Attend an avalanche or snow safety course in your area. Avalanche.org is an excellent source for finding courses available in your area, and they also feature an online tutorial. It is also extremely important to ‘Know Before You Go’ – Before venturing into the backcountry, be sure to check your local Avalanche Forecast. Visit Avalanche.org for links to your local Avalanche Center. Bookmark them, and check them daily.
For those of you in the Salt Lake City area, check out these upcoming events and courses:
- Thursday, November 3: The North Face KNOW Boundaries Avalanche & Safety Clinic with Ian McIntosh at the Salt Lake City REI, FREE Admission!
- Saturday, November 5: The Utah Avalanche Center Utah Snow & Avalanche Workshop (USAW) at The Depot, Tickets: $25 online, $30 at the door
- White Pine Touring offers AIARE Level I & II Avalanche Courses throughout the winter – click here for more info (Level III available through AIARE – click here for more info)
- The American Avalanche Institute (AAI), based in Victor, Idaho, offers Level I, II, and III Avalanche Courses throughout the winter in Wyoming, Montana, and Utah – click here for more info.
We will be offering our Snow Safety Clinics and Snow Study Workshops during the upcoming 2012 ski season in Patagonia. Both of these are included in our Backcountry Tour – we are working on creating a one-week version of this tour and also links to sign up for just the Snow Safety Clinic and/or Snow Study Workshop. Check back soon for updates!
Have a great winter, and be safe out there!