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Avalanche Awareness: Because You Can Never Be To Safe

avalancheThe trend in skiing and snowboarding these days seems to be headed in the direction of more and more back country riding. Whether it’s a back country hit or a just touring, the back country is receiving more traffic than ever before. Although it’s good to see people progressing and enjoying the back country, it can also be a serious cause of worry.

Most people that enter the back country have no experience whatsoever with avalanche safety or avalanche awareness. I want to use this post as a reminder to anyone that is planning on going out of controlled areas. You should, at the very least have a basic knowledge of avalanche safety and know what to look for so you can minimize the risk of being caught in a slide.

Most states that have any kind of serious back country terrain have websites that forecast avalanche danger. Utah, for example, has many sites that help educate people on avalanche basics. Also offered are classes that use hands on experience taught by professionals. Utah Avalanche Center is a site that offers classes, forecasts, and information on avalanches throughout the state of Utah.

Whether you are a first timer in the back country, or a veteran, it is always wise to check avalanche forecasts before setting out for a day of pow riding. Continued learning courses are also recommended, even if it’s just a refresher course for someone who is well rounded in back country travel.

There are many false thoughts and ideas that are circulating around about avalanches and you should be aware of both common truths and falsities. Many deaths occur each year as a result of common mistakes made by inexperienced visitors. Remember, when it comes to avalanches you can never be to safe.

Happy riding!

Posted by Derek on Thursday, February 7th, 2008 in Snow.

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