Avalanche Safety with the UAC
Utah Avalanche Center's Education Series
This past spring when quarantine first began, we saw a record-breaking number of backcountry travelers in the Wasatch, between early resort closures, shuttered gyms, and the desire to safely exercise outside. Our Gearheads watched as avalanche rescue equipment started flying off the shelves and at one point, our local mountain range saw 42 human-triggered avalanches in two days.
While we love the idea of people gearing up for backcountry travel, this surge of backcountry traffic and incidents left us concerned for the upcoming season. Backcountry skiing has been on the rise for many years now, but with many resorts now requiring reservations, this year is expected to see more backcountry travelers than ever before. We teamed up with three Forecasters and Educators from the Utah Avalanche Center to create a series of educational videos highlighting the key information everyone should know before getting into the backcountry. The UAC is our go-to resource for avalanche forecasts, recent slides, and community education here in the Wasatch.
Research goes a long way, but these videos are not intended as a replacement for on-snow training with an experienced instructor.
Episode 1: Know Before You Go with Jimmy Tart
Know Before You Go is a widely-regarded free avalanche awareness program that provides a high-level overview of avalanche risk, what you need to be aware of, and key things to get additional training on. Kickstart your avalanche education with Episode 1 below.
Episode 2: Get The Gear with Chad Bracklesberg
In our second episode, Get The Gear, the UAC covers important details about essential and recommended avalanche gear, a basic overview of how it’s used, and where and how you can get proper in-person training from the pros.
Episode 3: Season Tune Up with Craig Gordon
In our third episode, Season Tune Up, the UAC covers the best ways to practice your avalanche skills, recommended resources, apps, and books to further your at-home education, as well as share some tips and tricks for winter.
The UAC and the American Avalanche Institute host a number of on-snow courses each winter to provide the training needed to mitigate risk in the backcountry. As with many higher stakes activities, there is no replacement for an in-person course. In addition to on-snow training, the UAC hosts daily forecasts and observations from around the state.