40 Percent Rise in Deaths in the Backcountry Last Winter

Michael Moranz | BackcountryBackcountry | AvalancheAvalanche
137 people were killed in avalanches in Europe last winter
137 people were killed in avalanches in Europe last winter

With winter just around the corner and dreams of powder becoming more frequent there are also sobering reminders of the dangers associated with skiing and snowboarding in the backcountry. Last year in Europe 137 people were killed in incidents in the European backcountry involving avalanches, that’s more than 40% above average.

Avalanche deaths in Europe were up 40% last winter.
Avalanche deaths in Europe were up 40% last winter.

With that said, according to WePowder, many (30%) of the 137 deaths last year could have been prevented by taking even the most basic precautions in the backcountry such as: traveling in groups and not alone, always wearing a beacon and having an avy shovel and probe, and everyone in the group knowing how to use these tools in the event someone gets caught in an avalanche.

30% of those deaths could potentially have been prevented by using basic safe backcountry travel practices.
30% of those deaths could potentially have been prevented by using basic safe backcountry travel practices.

As backcountry terrain is made more accessible by better and more available gear, its is important to remember there are very real dangers in the backcountry. But before getting too down, remember there are also ways to mitigate those dangers. Practicing good safety protocol in the backcountry helps keep powder dreams a reality for years to come.

Careful decision making and having the proper avalanche gear help make a lifetime of awesome trips into the backcountry possible.
Careful decision making and having the proper avalanche gear help make a lifetime of awesome trips into the backcountry possible.

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