Avalanches — One Thing We Do Not Worry About

Bad Ski News -- a photo of an avalanche
Avalanches are often bad ski news

TonySkiDavos tweets:

Be sure to know the level of avalanche danger before planning back country skiing. www.tonyskidavos.com

While avalanches in reality are not a laughing matter the tweet brought to mind an episode from Perfect Strangers:


Yes, the snippet in the video is talking of avalanches in Wisconsin, an obvious fiction. I have to admit, I chuckled watching this video that I recall watching on network TV when it first aired.

We do not have the sort of mountain or hill to set up the threat of avalanche. Resorts in avalanche regions do a heck of a job keeping the risk to a minimum but even in bounds the risk of avalanche in mountainous regions is not zero. However, I have never heard of an avalanche in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, or Ohio. In fact, I have never heard of them occurring in the big ski resorts out east either.

Now, does this mean I will stay away from Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, etc? N-O NO! The risk of falling and seriously injuring myself is much greater than being swallowed up by an avalanche — even at a big resort out West. Still, if you are going to ski out of bounds, you risk does go up and goes up measurably.

Here is a report on a recent in-bounds avalanche:

Witnesses said other skiers in the general area rushed to move away from the site of the avalanche. Even though Michael was skiing inbounds, it appears “almost certain” that he triggered the avalanche.

Tony’s tweet is a good idea, check the conditions and ask local folks who make it there business to know about avalanches. Even if you don’t ski out of bounds it is probably a good idea to understand what the avalanche conditions are.

Update December 16, 2016.
There is one locale in New Hampshire that is subject to avalanches during the winter months. However, during the spring the snow becomes more solid and skiers and snowboarders flock to Tuckerman Ravine on Mt. Washington.

Good Stuff!

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