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Already this winter season there have been dozens of reports of in-bounds avalanches at ski-resorts, and in other popular sports areas. These reports have been mainly coming from Colorado, Idaho, Utah, and Wyoming. There have been six reported deaths in the U.S. due to avalanches, with similar reports in Canada. On Monday December 29th, Jeff Crabtree, Co-Owner of Skinny Skis in Jackson Hole commented that â€œat around 9:30 am an avalanche took out the new restaurant at the top of the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort Gondola. EVERYTHING is sliding.â€
All of our Grassroots Retailers are advocating safety to their customers and to educate themselves before venturing out to avalanche prone areas. Avalanches are happening IN-BOUNDS at Ski Resorts, not just in the backcountry. If you are skiing, even in-bounds, please learn about the inherent risk of avalanches and the areas you are exploring. Having the knowledge and awareness of the risks will make you a more alert, and and an all around better outdoorsperson.
Here are some avalanche basics from Pine Needle Mountaineering Owner Keith Roush
1. Be aware of recent avalanche activity. Read the local avalanche report; know which elevations and aspects are safe.
2. Pay attention to the terrain. Don’t travel underneath potential avalanche runs, practice safe route finding, look for recent activity and/or unusual snow loading from wind.
3. Check the weather, don’t get caught out when big events are imminent. Don’t get caught out when you might lose visibility and not know that you’re traveling under or near avalanche terrain.
4. The new wider skis allow us to get good turns on more gentle slopes since we float up higher in the snowpack. Use them to avoid steeper terrain when its questionable.
5. Only travel with partners you’d trust with your life. Carry safety equipment and know how to use it.
6. Always trust your gut reaction to the conditions, don’t let your ego or your companions override your travel decisions.
7. Get Avalanche Training! Ask your Local Retailers, Ski Resorts, and Search & Rescue Professionals for details on where you get the right training.
Avalanches can happen anywhere. Accessing the most recent information for your area is crucial to enjoying your sports safely. Here are some Local and National Mountain resort resources.
Lou Dawson’s Wild Snow, http://www.wildsnow.com/
Forest Service National Avalanche Center, http://www.fsavalanche.org/
Center for Avalanche & Snow Studies, http://www.snowstudies.org/
GOOGLE Avalanche News Reports, KW: Avalanche Report
Bishop Area- Wilson’s Eastside Sports, http://www.eastsidesposrts.com
Livermore Area- Sunrise Mountain Sports, http://www.sunrisemountainsports.com/
Aspen Area- Ute Mountaineer, http://www.utemountaineer.com
Frisco, Dillon, Silverthorne- Wilderness Sports, (970) 468-5687
Durango Area- Pine Needle Mountaineering, http://www.pineneedle.com- www.geosurvey.state.co.us/avalanche
Grand Jct./Glenwood Springs- Summit Canyon Mountaineering, http://www.summitcanyon.com
Boise Area- Idaho Mountain Touring, http://idahomountaintouring.com
Ketchum Area- Elephant’s Perch, http://elephantsperch.com, Sawtooth Avalanche Center- http://www.avalanche.org/~svavctr/index.html
Bozeman Area- Northern Lights Trading Co., http://www.northernlightstrading.com
Billings Area- The Base Camp, http://www.thebasecamp.com (406) 248-5360
Helena Area- The Base Camp, http://www.thebasecamp.com (406) 443-5360
Corvallis Area- Peak Sports, http://www.peaksportscorvallis.com
State College Area- Appalachian Outdoors, http://www.appoutdoors.com
Jackson Hole Area- Skinny Skis, http://www.skinnyskis.com, JHUnderground, TetonAT, Jackson Hole News&Guide
About Grassroots Outdoor Alliance
Grassroots Outdoor Alliance unites independent outdoor retailers as a strong voice to protect and promote the experience of outdoor enthusiasts across the United States. We enable access to best business practices for our retail members, to the best equipment and apparel brands for the public, and to the backcountry for all. http://www.Grassrootsoutdoors.com