Take some time out of your evening to refresh your memory of last seasons snow pack and get your frame of mind refocused from summer fun to snow safety.
This last week has been a big week in Utah. While the storm totals are not as deep as we would like them to be we are off to a great start for resort bases. With this second real storm of the year we saw out first NATURAL avalanche cycle of the year. In addition to the snow this week was also the 23rd annual National Avalanche School that I had to the opportunity to attend during the week. Also this last week was the 7th annual Utah Snow and Avalanche Workshop which was as informative as ever.
A few things to remember about the start of a season.
1. Get your avalanche gear out. Check your beacon, shovel, probes. Make sure your beacon’s batteries are fresh.
2. Bury your beacon in the leaves and practice a quick search using your searching techniques.
3. Remember shallow snow is weak snow. If there is enough snow to ride, there is enough to slide.
4. Its a long season, be patient.
5. Read an avalanche book (Bruce Tremper’s Staying Alive In Avalanche Terrain) My favorite!!!
6. Early season consequences can be severe if caught in an avalanche, there are more exposed rocks and stumps to be dragged through.
7. Begin checking your local avalanche forecast.
-Trent Meisenheimer and Craig Gordan, Utah Avalanche Center
Check out the Utah Avalanche Center’s Event page to learn about more (often times free) avalanche education events. Before you leave the resorts ropes or head out from the trail head this winter get your Avalanche 1 or Avalanche 2 certification. If you don’t you’re being stupid and selfish.
This winter Snowbrains will be heavily pushing backcountry safety as all accidents and deaths are avoidable.
4 thoughts on “Utah 2012 – 2013 Backcountry Review | Don’t Be A Statistic”
a must watch video. one of the most informative films I’ve seen. thanks.
was in BC terrain yesterday outside the bird, great snow, very stable by my checks, but def a great reminder for safety. Knowledge/education, right tools, and common sense are key when venturing outside the ropes, lets stay safe and stay smart this year.
Things may be “stable” right now but we are set up for more activity with any additional loads. I suggest you read about the slides at Alta last week and look at the pit profiles.