The backcountry is a fun playground but as consequences can be devastating, traveling smartly is absolutely necessary. Vera Janssen and KJ Johansson summarize the basics of avalanche safety in a fun educational video that is meant to trigger your interest in avalanches and/or refresh your safety knowledge.
If you’re new to backcountry skiing and riding then the first thing you need to do is learn about the dangers of avalanches. This video provides the bare basics of avalanche safety, but should really be supplemented with a proper avalanche safety course. There are tons full online courses to get a start with learning, but if you get the chance to do a field course this is always the best way to go.
It is important to always be well equipped and ready for anything; mountain weather can change rapidly and you should always be prepared for the worst. Even some of the the most experienced have perished due to backcountry danger, so don’t ever thing your safe with a beacon and probe, and most of all, never travel alone.
- Avalanche Beacon: This small device will help you locate and be located by your backcountry team in the case of a disaster.
- Shovel: A small avalanche shovel will be your tool to dig anyone buried in an avalanche and will also be used when testing snow stability. It also works well when building jumps.
- Probe: A probe is a collapsable rod usually about 2.5-3 meters in length which is used to locate an avalanche victim that is beneath the snow. Again useful for jump building to check for rocks or anything that could be laying beneath the snow.
- Educate yourself and make sure those who are going with you are also educated on snow stability and backcountry safety.
- Know the area you will be traveling. Going out into an area without an awareness of where you will be traveling in the backcountry.
Don’t Be Stupid! Check and respect stability reports in your area. Don’t risk your life for good skiing.