Avalanche Deaths DOWN 60% for USA in 2014/15:

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Seattle Creek Avalanche, AK.
Seattle Creek Avalanche, AK.

The USA has averaged 28 avalanche fatalities per year over the past 10 winters.  This winter, there have only been 11 avalanche fatalities.  That is an enormous drop in avalanche deaths.  That’s 60% less avalanche deaths this year than the annual average.

“Over the last 10 winters an average of 28 people died in avalanches every year in the United States.” – Colorado Avalanche Information Center

The first question we all ask is:  Why were there so many less avalanche deaths in 2014/15?

The answer is fairly obvious:  There wasn’t much snow in 2014/15.

List of all avalanche fatalities in the USA in 2014/15.  CAIC
List of all avalanche fatalities in the USA in 2014/15. CAIC

But, that might not be the whole story.  Maybe more people are getting educated.  Maybe people are taking fewer risks in the backcountry.  Maybe people are using their educations and avalanche tools to avoid avalanche terrain when it’s at its most dangerous.

This is all speculation, of course.  The main reason that avy deaths were down this year is because there just wasn’t much snow in the USA during the 2014/15 winter.

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Regardless of the reason for the decline in avalanche deaths this winter, lets keep it going.  Lets all get more education, lets all take fewer risks in the backcountry, lets all recognize when avalanche terrain is dangerous and avoid it.

Here’s to even less avalanche fatalities in the USA in 2015/16.

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2 thoughts on “Avalanche Deaths DOWN 60% for USA in 2014/15:

  1. I think it’s misleading to even mention anything except lack of snowfall as a contributing factor. To eek out 11 deaths from so little snow probably suggests people are no smarter or tech safer; quite the opposite.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    +1 (1 vote)
  2. the fact that the majority of North America experienced well below average snowfalls and extended periods of no snow totally attributes to this stat. right-high pressure, faceting, bad layers, etc. but most places didn’t see enough snow to have AS many avalanches as other seasons.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    +1 (1 vote)

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