If you’ve been skiing for some time now and you’re ready to venture out into the backcountry or you’re a seasoned pro looking to brush up on your skills we are here to help. Here in Utah, we have everything from apps to crowd sourced mountain safety info to websites to seminars to in the field training programs all readily available for you. The only catch, you actually have to make use of all these resources.
Check out this video from the Utah Avalanche Forecast Center
I've compiled a list of links that should be really helpful in your quest for more knowledge. But before jumping into the list, I need to stress how much I love the Utah Avalanche Center app. It’s the first thing I open every morning while lying in bed. Get yourself in the habit of reading the morning update every day! You may think oh well it’s not snowing right now so why would I waste my time, when in reality, the snow pack is changing every day. Following the forecasts will help guide you, so when it does snow again, you’ll be armed with one of the most valuable tools out there, information. Information that can save your life.
In Park City, check out White Pine Touring. They hold regular American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education courses (AIARE) and you can find more information on their website.
Snowbird also offers free Beacon skills clinics December through February in addition to avalanche awareness seminars. These seminars are extensive 6-hour courses taught by Snowbird Backcountry Guides. In addition to these courses, Snowbird offers AIARE Level 1 certification courses for $350 every month during winter.
Locally owned Utah Wilderness Safety draws from 11 years of experience in avalanche terrain to offer avalanche 1 and 2 at an affordable price. In addition, UWS offers wilderness first aid and avalanche rescue specific courses promoting preparedness for an avalanche emergency in the backcountry.
Utah Mountain Adventures offers the standard AIARE level 1 and 2 courses as well as a Level 1 refresher course. They even offer a Youth Level 1 Avalanche Course. The Youth course is designed for young skiers and snowboarders 13 years and older This Youth program runs late December at Brighton Resort.
For those of you up in Northern Utah who are unable to make it down to Park City and the Cottonwoods, there is also a AIARE Level 1 course provided by Weber State University Outdoor Program located in Ogden for $285 on 2/5/16 - 2/7/16
For a list of all upcoming public avalanche training courses in the Western United States check out the following links.
Finally, remember what you don’t know can kill you. So, if you’re heading into the mountains this winter, Know Before You Go!
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