Backcountry Skiing this Season? Here’s What You Need To Remember

Always check the avalanche forecast before heading into the backcountry.
Always check the avalanche forecast before heading into the backcountry. Shutterstock

This article originally appeared on and was republished with permission.

Anticipating an explosion in backcountry users due to wide-ranging reservation systems and potential resort closures amid a global pandemic, Friends of the Colorado Avalanche Information Center are asking backcountry users in all states to pledge to check the forecast before they venture into the backcountry this season.

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One of the challenging parts of backcountry skiing is that good safety decisions and close calls are both reinforced by the feeling of a normal day out. If everything goes right, you may have been smart—or you may have simply been lucky. Education is the most vital tool for backcountry skiing. The old “know before you go” slogan carries multiple meanings, but the first (and perhaps most important) of which is to know the current snowpack and forecasted avalanche conditions.

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Knowing the forecast, having the correct avalanche safety tools, and the knowledge of how to use them greatly increase a skier’s chances of avoiding avalanche incidents—and keeping themselves and others safe in the event of one. Visit the Friends of the CAIC website to sign the pledge and go to the CAIC website proper to research the organization’s wealth of resources and historic data.

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