As the Western U.S. is doused in feet of new snow, avy danger is heightening, resulting in ratings ranging from considerable to extreme avy danger. While fresh powder is always alluring on some level, this is one of those times where playing it safe and staying away from slopes steeper than 30 degrees is the best option. Instead of taking on high risk, go drink a coffee and read a good book. Live to play another day.
The first few weeks in December brought with them a nasty round of avalanches, due to instabilities buried deep in the snowpack across the western U.S. This week brings in more of the same, with the Pacific Northwest’s danger rating spiking to high, and the Rockies still dealing with persistent slab. Here is the regional report for this week.
Deep slab avalanches are occurring across the western U.S., so exercise caution when traveling out of bounds. To stay safe, don’t leave without the proper avalanche safety gear and up-to-date information from your local avalanche center about the day’s conditions.
With heavy snowfall and high rates of early season stoke across the U.S., skiers and riders are more than motivated to get out and explore. And though it’s easy to get excited about a good start to the season, it’s important to remember that avalanches pay no heed to calendar dates.
On Monday, the Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) announced a new set of closure restrictions for Little Cottonwood Canyon and SR 210, the route that accesses Alta Ski Area and Snowbird Resort, as well as many go-to backcountry zones for Salt Lake City residents. The Utah Avalanche Center (UAC) reported the new restrictions on their website and explained that, due to user conflicts, the comprehensive closure of all backcountry zones the night before any planned UDOT avalanche control measures.
We have all seen our fair share of ski flicks, but it’s especially inspiring when a film documents the achievements of everyday skiers and riders, not just the pros. And Liberarsi, a film out today, looks to achieve this regular guy/gal feel.
In recent years, Vermont has been a breeding ground for backcountry community efforts and growth in the form of nonprofit aid with governance and access to skiable landscapes. The formation of the Vermont Backcountry Alliance has empowered backcountry communities and coalitions to unite across the state, and one of the most recent communities to jump on the backcountry bandwagon is based in the fabled northernmost part of the state, the Northeast Kingdom.
The Utah Avalanche Center (UAC) is one of the leading names in avalanche safety and education the world over, and the current Executive Director, Paul Diegel, has been an undeniable influence on the growth and success of the organization. But after 15 years, he is ready to retire.
For the November Issue of Backcountry Magazine, we’re highlighting the most influential spouses, siblings, parents and kids in the sport, focusing on more than 30 families who enrich the backcountry community with their love for each other and the outdoors. And this past week, featured sisters Nat and Anna Segal released a Kickstarter to fund their sibling film project, Finding the Line, shot by Bjarne Salen.
With Election Day quickly approaching, many news outlets are examining candidates’ proposals for tax reform and platforms on foreign policy. But we wanted to know more about other stances—ski stances, that is.