White River National Forest and the Colorado Avalanche Information Center (CAIC) just installed a new beacon training park just off of the I-70 near Vail, CO. The new training park gives backcountry users a free and convenient location to practice avalanche rescue. Users need to provide their own avalanche rescue equipment: a beacon, shovel, and probe.
The training park is located near the Meadow Mountain Trailhead next to the Holy Cross Ranger Station which is 1/4 mile off of the I-70 Minturn exit on the US-24.
The new training park has a total of 8 transceivers that can be turned on and off via an external control panel. This allows users to practice single and multi-burial searchers and rescues. Be sure to fill in holes you dig so other users can have the same experience.
Beacon training parks are often found at ski areas where backcountry users can practice and refine their avalanche rescue skills. The new park is not part of a ski area and is free to the public. This could not come any sooner as Colorado is seeing the most unstable snowpack since 2012 and a record number of users are heading into the backcountry this season. Remember, Know Before You Go and Get the Gear, Get the Training, Get the Forecast, Get the Picture, and Get out of Harm’s Way. You can take a free 40-80 minute online avalanche awareness program through Know Before You GO.