It’s looking probable that the 2020/21 ski season will see more backcountry users than ever before. With various restrictions and occupancy limitations at ski resorts, combined with record sales of backcountry gear, all signs are pointing towards an increase in backcountry recreation.
As more and more novice skiers and snowboarders enter the backcountry, the risk of being caught in a fatal avalanche dramatically increases. In an effort to increase avalanche safety awareness and promote safe backcountry travel, the Colorado Avalanche Information Center (CAIC), is encouraging all backcountry users to sign the “Check the Forecast Pledge.”
This awareness campaign is focused upon illuminating the importance of checking the avalanche forecast before every single ski tour. On the Friends of CAIC website, they write “The Colorado Avalanche Information Center forecasters study our snowpack daily and watch the weather closely in order to provide you with an avalanche forecast tailored to your area! Our goal is for every backcountry user in Colorado to pledge to check that forecast before heading out.”
Thus far, 2000 people have signed the pledge. While it obviously does not ensure people will check the forecast before every tour, it highlights CAIC’s main principle “Know Before You Go”. Additionally, all participants who sign the pledge will be entered in a raffle to win a free avalanche level 1 or level 2 class.
CAIC is dedicated to promoting safe backcountry travel, proper ethics, and the importance of avalanche education. As backcountry recreationists, we all ought to do the same. Before you travel into the backcountry- educate yourself, properly equip yourself, and make a plan. Know Before You Go!
To sign the pledge, click here.