Backcountry Safety Awareness Week: Safety tips to stay out of danger this winter

Published: Dec. 13, 2022 at 8:30 AM PST
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) -It is Backcountry Safety Awareness Week, which is timely due to all of the fresh snow we’ve gotten in the mountains. This is a good opportunity for us to learn about the dangers and how to stay safe.

The third annual awareness week will feature multiple organizations that will host in-person and virtual events to help.

A lead scientist from the UC Berkeley Central Sierra Snow Lab will discuss snowpack trends and even their impact during the fire season. It will be held at the UC Davis Tahoe Science Center. Thursday you can hear about the best practices for hitting the backcountry at RMU in Truckee followed by live music.

Amy Berry, CEO of Tahoe Land Fund, mentioned why education on navigating the backcountry is crucial this time of year,

“It’s incredible to see all this great snow, everyone’s going to want to go out and play in it, I know I do, but it makes things incredibly dangerous. The risk of avalanche is high, and what we know about avalanche safety is that it just takes one person to not know what they’re doing to put everybody else’s life in jeopardy,”

She continued,

“When you have a really wet storm come in and then it gets light on top it creates what are called these slabs and they’ll just slide right off, and you could look at something and think of it as beautiful. You could trigger an avalanche quite easily. People are enticed to go backcountry skiing, but we really ask people to get smart and take an Avi-1 class / Area 1 class that way they are trained before they go into the backcountry.”

Friday will be a backcountry safety summit at Palisades Tahoe. A Snowsports users meet-up will be wrapping up the awareness week at the Hope Valley Sno-Park.

Whether you are traveling out to the mountains to ski, snowboard, sled, or snowmobile it is advised you check conditions and always go with someone.

For more information, click here.