Mountain Safety


Jackson Frederick, Staff Writer

Mountain safety is extremely important, especially because of recent events, and how to prevent accidents on the mountain involving avalanches. Almost 150 people die in avalanches each year and each one of those incidents can be prevented by taking simple precautions.

The first precaution is to check the weather and snow and if the snow is warm and has been exposed to the sun you should probe the snow to check how soft the snow is and how deep it is and if it’s too deep you shouldn’t keep going. There are also many ways to avoid situations where you need to be cautious you can do that by staying on the main run and skiing on small mountains. If you are caught in an avalanche you want to create an air pocket with your arms and if you are skiing with a friend you want to stick your pole out of the snow if you can and wait for help.

Another major issue is tree wells. Recently there was an accident in Jackson Hole so lots of people have started to learn more about them, they are deep wells formed by snow piling up under a tree and they can be around 3ft – 15ft deep, depending on how much snow the place you’re skiing at has gotten that year. You can avoid these wells by skiing on the main runs and listening to ski patrol. If you do fall into one you want to always have a friend and they can pull out their phone go to google maps and mark where you are and go get help.

There are many accidents on the mountain and avalanches are just one of the issues but if you take precautions and listen to the ski patrol the accidents can be prevented and avoided.