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Avalanche Safety

 Avalanche Safety Class

Last night, as part of our Backcountry Skiing Classes, Tom Janisch was the main presenter and discussed Avalanche ABCs -- what causes them and how do you avoid them.

Andy Dappen discussed that while mastering snow analysis is very difficult, you can ski safely in most places by mastering terrain management.

Montana transplant, Mark Berreth, talked about a slide he was buried in and the judgement errors leading up to an accident that nearly killed him (he escaped with a punctured lung). Kyle Flick recounted of a slide that buried him in the Wenatchee Foothills and Nate Woodward (a volunteer ski patroller who was at the scene) talked about a tiny slide in the Mission Ridge Outback that still nearly killed a teenager.

About 35 people were in attendance and, while the excitement to ski was high (it was snowing outside), some of the tales told and videos shown were sobering. For good reason -- dying in an avalanche has a way ruining what would otherwise be a really good skiing.

For those in attendance as well as for those who want to bone up on the subject before the season gets going, here are a bunch of good resources.