According to the Colorado Avalanche Information Center, there have been 12 avalanche fatalities in the United States this season. This is 55% below the season average of 27, but avalanche dangers do still exist. 5 of these deaths have been skiers, 4 of them have been snowmobilers, and the other 3 have been Climbers/Hikers/Snowshoers. Surprisingly, not a single snowboarder has died in an avalanche this season.
There hasn’t been a single avalanche death in Utah or California so far this season. This is the first season in 26 years that no one has died in an avalanche in Utah. California had a huge snow year and so did much of the west, which suggests that avalanche deaths would be on the rise. Thankfully, that isn’t the case.
In the recent years, backcountry use has been on the rise, while avalanche deaths are on the decline. This is a great sign that general backcountry education is making a difference. Campaigns such as Know Before You Go have had a positive impact on avalanche deaths in the United States. It is important to check the weather and analyze snow conditions before venturing into the backcountry.