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.
Across the Olympic Mountains: photographer Jason Hummel’s attempt to ski all of Washington’s named glaciers
At heart, photographer Jason Hummel is a homebody. While the long-time contributor for Backcountry Magazine often travels globally, snapping shots of distant mountain ranges and athletic feats, his biggest project of late has been shooting and skimo-ing through his Washington home state’s mountain ranges.
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 all know we should practice avalanche rescue more, but making it happen can be a sizable hurdle. Sometimes we try to bust out a couple laps in “search mode” at the beginning of the season to dust off the cobwebs. Other times, we’re lucky enough to have access to a beacon park at the local resort, presenting a chance to practice our skill set before heading to more dangerous terrain.
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.
Mountain ranges across the U.S. are starting to look the part of winter, and as the 2016/17 season begins to unfold, it’s time brush up on avy awareness and start celebrating the backcountry community. To do so, we’ve listed regional events that focus on educational talks, film screenings, fundraising benefits and early-season races to get you geared up for the coming months.
Picture this: You’re skiing across low angle terrain, but need to traverse below a steep open face with no cover. Your avalanche awareness bells start chiming, “Danger!” so you decide to ski out of your way to remain clear of the possible slide path. But there are no trees around to give clues about where you’ll be safe if it slides. So how far is “far enough” from the suspect slope?
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.