Winter Sport Season Also Avalanche Season, Be Prepared

Avalanche Season, Be Prepared
Although an avalanche can occur whenever there is snow on a mountain range, avalanches most often occur between the months of December and April. It is important for visitors to be equipped with the current avalanche forecast, the proper avalanche rescue equipment, and avalanche training.

Eastern Sierra Avalanche Center Facebook photo

Each year millions of avalanches sweep down mountains across the United States. While most occur naturally and well away from people, sometimes wintertime sports enthusiasts trigger, get caught, and are killed by avalanches. There have already been 21 fatalities during this 2020-
2021 season, which is high compared to the 2019-2020 season total of 23.

With another 2-3 months of peak avalanche season remaining, visitors should exercise increased caution when traveling out into the backcountry.

Visitors can mitigate their avalanche risk by doing the following:
• Get the Forecast – access the latest avalanche forecast. For the Inyo National Forest, visit the Eastern Sierra Avalanche Center for forecasts throughout the west. There, professional avalanche forecasts are posted daily and highlight the level of risk in an area on a scale from 1-Low, to 5-Extreme.
• Get the Gear – Another critical component of avalanche safety is having the appropriate gear. There are three essential pieces of gear: An avalanche beacon, a probe, and a shovel.
• Get the Training – Find an avalanche course provider at avalanche.org, and get trained up in avalanche safety. Start your training online by watching the Know Before You Go safety video.

To learn more about avalanches and safety please visit ESAC or the National Avalanche center at avalanche.org.

, , , , , , ,

6 Comments
Newest
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Oldtimer
Oldtimer
1 year ago

See excellent NYT article of 12/2019 on heuristic error in re avalanches

Charles James
1 year ago
Reply to  Oldtimer

Oldtimer,
Thank you for the reference. Very interesting and well-written article. Many of the comments are also very interesting.

New York Times Magazine (12/31/2019): What I Learned in Avalanche School

Mono Person
Mono Person
1 year ago

I’m not a big fan of “Not for thee, but ok for me”, but I think Nate knows he screwed up. Let’s give a local a pass…we don’t need to “argue” about every issue. The Rona has made us angry people.

quacque
quacque
1 year ago

Your post is nonsense from beginning to end. Nate’s job is to know what is happening in the mountains with the snowpack; his observations and recommendations are what keep backcountry travelers informed enough to make good decisions. Your estimation of visitors and instinct shows you don’t have any idea what… Read more »

French Laundry
French Laundry
1 year ago
Reply to  quacque

So I’m smug – for pointing out what Mr. Greenburg did on purpose?

I think it the height of smugness – and dangerous smugness at that – to blithely go skiing in the backcountry when avalanche hazard is extremely high.

French Laundry
French Laundry
1 year ago

Thanks for the tip. But you should tell all that to ESAC Board member and guide-book author Nate Greenburg, who thought it was a good idea to go backcountry skiing right after a big storm and triggered an avalanche. Who knew? Nearly all “visitors” have common sense, and instinctively understand… Read more »