AVALANCHES – PLEASE HELP! Today we received an email from the Colorado Avalanche Information Center reaching out to ask for your attention and assistance in getting an urgent message out to the Colorado Backcountry Community.
The CAIC has seen an alarming trend in the past 3 weekends, having reported more than 850 avalanches and 4 fatalities in CO in that time. As we approach the MLK Day holiday weekend — a historically busy ski and backcountry weekend — and with new snow already starting to blanket the state, their goal is to break the trend. Starting this afternoon, we will begin pushing out content as part of a MLK Day avalanche awareness campaign that will run thru the weekend.
Four people have DIED in Avalanches since December 26 and there is more snow forecast for Colorado this week.
“Dangerous avalanche conditions will last through the Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend” said Ethan Greene, Director of the Colorado Avalanche Information Center. Early-season snowfall followed by heavy snow in early December and early January created dangerous avalanche conditions. “We’ve seen more avalanches this year than we do on a typical year, and recently they’ve gotten much bigger.” said Greene. “We want everyone to enjoy the wonderful public lands in Colorado, and go home alive and well to their family and friends on Monday” said Greene. “We need everyone headed into the backcountry to plan their trip carefully and make sure they avoid avalanche hazards.” Greene said. “We need to stop this deadly trend”.
Why is this important?
The CAIC recorded over 870 avalanches since December 26. There’s been a fatal avalanche accident each of the last three weekends, killing four people. Avalanches are getting larger. People may not see the usual danger signs, but still be in a dangerous area. The avalanche danger is not going down so expect these dangerous conditions throughout the holiday weekend.
What can backcountry users do?
The most important thing you can do is check the avalanche forecast before going into the backcountry. This includes easy-to-access backcountry like right off the highway or leaving any ski area through a backcountry access points. Go to www.colorado.gov/avalanche or get the Friends of CAIC’s mobile app. Look at the current avalanche conditions and plan backcountry travel accordingly. Make sure you and every member of your group carry an avalanche-rescue transceiver, a probe pole, and a shovel – and know how to use this equipment.
Learn avalanche safety basics
A little bit of knowledge can save your life. You can start at the CAIC’s education resources page:
PLEASE HELP! The Colorado Avalanche Information Center wants you to pass on this info to all of the Colorado Backcountry Community, both new and advanced!
Here is another c=great article all about preparing for the backcountry from a very experienced individual: https://mtntownmagazine.com/preparing-for-backcountry-skiing-and-riding/
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