– Winter is here and it’s time to to be thinking skiing, sledding, boarding, climbing and avalanche saftey. We need to remain cautious of snow conditions. Avalanches are the most dangerous objective hazard in the Colorado backcountry. Ignorance may be bliss, until you witness or experience a slide and the real danger is understood. Along with taking the proper equipment and having the proper training with your beacon, shovel and probe, knowledge of avalanches and conditions can be the best tool in your kit.
Before earning your turns this year, make sure to check out the Colorado Avalanche Information Center’s website https://avalanche.state.co.us/index.php for up to date conditions. For those interested in learning more about snow science, I recommend purchasing Staying Alive in Avalanche Terrain by Bruce Tremper. A wealth of knowledge throughout this publication from the science of snow and personal experiences from one of Americas leading avalanche scientist.
As fun as it is to get out and travel in the backcountry, its more fun to come home safely and know you made good decisions while traveling in the mountains.
The Ski Haus sponsored Avalanche Awareness Clinic will be held January 10/11 2014 with the Colorado Avalanche Information Center, The Steamboat Ski Patrol, and Backcountry Access. Friday, Jan. 10 is a free and open to the public slideshow discussion held in the CMC campus auditorium on avalanche safety, route finding, mountain weather, precautions, and red flag signals. Saturday is a field day up on Rabbit Ears Pass. We will dig snowpits to study the snowpack, practice with avalanche beacons, practice a mock rescue, and cover route finding. Space is limited so sign up at Ski Haus. $35 non refundable fee (all money collected is donated to the CAIC). Call Ski Haus for more information.