Avalanche professionals like Gordon work really hard every day studying the snowpack in their areas. Reading all that they report will not only make you more informed, but help you start comprehending avalanche forecasts.
“Long before planning your trip make sure to check in with your local avalanche center to get the latest up-to-date advisories for the terrain that you are traveling in,” says Gordon. “But tracking the zone that you are going to ride in shouldn’t be a last minute thing that happens the night before.
“It should be an ongoing history since the beginning of the season. It is like opening up a novel in the middle, you don’t know who the characters are, you don’t who the good guys or the bad guys are, so look the area from the beginning of the season so you can track the trends that have happened in the past, the current trends and what that projected forecast looks like.
“Remember, 1/4 of us are killed by trauma when we trigger a large avalanche. So avoidance is the big ticket item.”
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