November 23, 2016

AVALANCHE SAFETY

Skiers/boarders are often unaware of avalanche danger. Avalanche danger within ski area boundaries is controlled, however avalanche terrain beyond the boundary fence or boundary markers is not controlled. The temptation to have fun too easily overrules caution. Common false beliefs include, “I’ve skied that slope before,” or “There are tracks there, so it must be safe to follow.”

Neither of these statements allow for the hidden changes that occur daily or hourly within the snowpack, or the fact that the first skier/boarder may merely have loosened the snow enough to make it avalanche for someone behind. If you are ever tempted to think “it won’t happen to me,” make sure to also ask “will it slide” and “what holds it up there?”

When skiing/boarding in the sidecountry or backcountry, you need to carry the gear (transceiver, probe & shovel), know the avalanche danger, be able to recognize avalanche terrain, and be skilled in avalanche rescue.

Avalanche safety and rescue require skill and practice.

The source for avalanche awareness and training information is the Canadian Avalanche Centre.

For current avalanche conditions, visit the Canadian Avalanche Centre and click on the area you are interested in. Or contact the Ski Patrol at the ski area.