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Avalanches

Winter adventure safety tips:

  • winter recreation
    Be responsible: Your safety and the safety of others around you is your primary responsibility. What you wear, where you go, the equipment you carry and how you conduct yourself is vitally important.
  • Be avalanche savvy: Know the three conditions present for an avalanche. Take a certified avalanche course. Find courses at Avalanche.org.
  • Be aware: Know the avalanche danger/conditions where you will be recreating. Heed all warnings.
  • Be prepared: Have at least these three safety items with you at all times and know how to use them. Everyone in your party should carry each of these items: 
  • Avalanche transceiver: Know the terrain and avoid dangerous conditions. If you are caught in an avalanche, use your avalanche transceiver to help others in your party find you.
  • Avalanche probes: These collapsible poles are longer than ski poles and are the perfect tool to begin searching for someone buried under the snow.
  • Shovel: Each person in your party should carry a shovel. Shovels can help you dig others out who may be caught in an avalanche, help determine snowpack conditions, assist in leveling out an area for a tent, or be used to melt snow for drinking water. Watch a video about how to use your rescue tools.
  • Backpack: Your pack should hold all your rescue gear, food, water, dry clothing, first-aid kit and other items. See a detailed list of items and tools to take with you when you go into the backcountry.
  • Partner: None of the above pieces of equipment will help you if you venture into the backcountry alone – always bring a buddy. 

Find more information at the Forest Service Avalanche Center.

Remember: You are responsible for the safety of yourself and for those around you.

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