Know the Snow
Cross-Border Collaboration Aims at Avalanche Safety for Skiers and Snowboarders
A unique partnership between US and Canadian avalanche safety organizations is issuing a challenge to skiers and snowboarders: Make a 4-minute video that shows the proper preparation for riding beyond resort boundaries, and you and your film could become a role model for lift access backcountry riders.
"Show us what happens before you hit your favorite powder stash," said John Gifford, President Pacific Northwest Ski Areas Association."Use your camera to tell the story about how you and your crew get ready to safely explore beyond the resort boundary and you’ve got a great chance to win some amazing prizes."
The videos will be posted on the Vimeo Know The Snow page and promoted by GoPro and other partners. The contest will run during the last three weeks of winter: March 1 – 21. The final winner will be determined by a combination of most views and an expert panel.
- A two-day trip for two at Monashee Powder Snowcats in the snowbelt of BC's interior
- Two four-day Gold Passes to any resort in the United States
- Backcountry Access Float 22 airbag
- Liberty skis
- GoPro Hero 3
The winning videos will be announced in late March. "Our goal is to simplify what's involved in avalanche terrain preparation," adds Gifford. To keep the momentum going, the project will continue through next season with expert editing help from Sherpas Cinema. A final highlight reel will be created with the best video submissions and broadcast at ski events and major retailers starting in November, 2014.
These are the organizations involved in this project:
- American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education, www.avtraining.org
- Canadian Avalanche Centre, www.avalanche.ca
- Colorado Avalanche Information Center, www.avalanche.state.co.us
- National Ski Areas Association, www.nsaa.org
- National Ski Patrol, www.nsp.org
- Northwest Avalanche Center, www.nwac.us
- Snowsports Industries of America, www.snowsports.org
- Utah Avalanche Center, www.utahavalanchecenter.org
For more details on the contest, go to www.knowthesnow.com
Know The Code!
Skiing can be enjoyed in many ways. At ski areas you may see people using alpine, snowboard, telemark, cross country and other specialized ski equipment, such as that used by disabled or other skiers. Regardless of how you decide to enjoy the slopes, always show courtesy to others and be aware that there are elements of risk in skiing that common sense and personal awareness can help reduce. Observe the code listed below and share with other skiers the responsibility for a great skiing experience.
- Always stay in control, and be able to stop or avoid other people or objects.
- People ahead of you have the right of way. It is your responsibility to avoid them.
- You must not stop where you obstruct a trail, or are not visible from above.
- Whenever starting downhill or merging into a trail, look uphill and yield to others.
- Always use devices to help prevent runaway equipment.
- Observe all posted signs and warnings. Keep off closed trails and out of closed areas.
- Prior to using any lift, you must have the knowledge and ability to load, ride and unload safely.
KNOW THE CODE. IT'S YOUR RESPONSIBILITY.
This is a partial list. Be safety conscious. Officially endorsed by: NATIONAL SKI AREAS ASSOCIATION.
Video courtesy of the Pacific Northwest Ski Areas Association (PNSAA)
Mt. Bachelor Ski Patrol: Professional and National
Mt. Bachelor employs a team of 28 professional patrollers. Most Pro patrollers are EMT’s trained in avalanche safety, use of explosives, rope rescue, toboggan handling wilderness response and more. On weekends, in partnership with approximately 60 National Ski Patrollers, the teams work together to open and close the mountain, determine trail safety and assist anyone who becomes injured. After storms, our Pro Patrol unit conducts avalanche control and are the communication liaisons in the event of an operational irregularity.
Visit the Mt. Bachelor National Ski Patrol at www.mtbachelornsp.org.
Mt. Bachelor Ski Resort Closure Policy:
Closed Areas Within Ski Area Boundary.
Closed areas within the Mt. Bachelor permit area are defined by, but not limited to OPEN/CLOSED signs at the top of lifts and runs, rope lines, active grooming and avalanche control work. Skiing/snowboarding in a closed area or on a closed run will result in the loss of skiing/snowboarding privileges. Any rescue operations that are initiated on your behalf will result in the loss of skiing/snowboarding privileges and you will be subject to being billed for the total amount of the costs incurred by Mt. Bachelor during rescue operations. This amount will be no less than $1,000 and could be subject to search costs of $1,000 per hour. The length of time that your skiing/snowboarding privileges will be revoked will be determined by ski patrol and area management.
Uphill Travel Policy
Within the Mt. Bachelor Special Use Permit area, uphill travel is permitted on designated routes under conditions that do not adversely impact avalanche reduction, grooming, snowmaking, parking, snow removal, maintenance or other ski area operations. Uphill travel is restricted within the Special Use Permit area during periods of avalanche danger or avalanche control operations. Uphill travel and downhill recreation by uphill travellers are restricted within the ski area boundary to designated uphill routes and open downhill trails and runs. Specific uphill routes may be closed at any given time due to safety concerns or hazardous conditions. These concerns/conditions include, but are not limited to; avalanche danger or control work, grooming, low visibility, construction, or maintenance operations. Uphill routes may be realigned, removed or added as circumstances warrant. No dogs allowed outside of the parking lots anywhere within Mt Bachelor Special use Permit area. Dogs in parking lot must be on leash.
Avalanche Safety & Dog Program
Please Respect Avalanche Closure Areas.
Mt. Bachelor maintains a Snow Safety Program throughout the operating season in the interest of the overall public and employee safety. This program consists of avalanche forecasting, monitoring known avalanche hazard areas, avalanche control, and protection methods. Mt. Bachelor follows a rescue plan, offers training and continual education of patrol personnel and other employees, special interest groups, and the general public in avalanche safety and awareness.
How to avoid getting caught in an avalanche:
- Pick the right day. Recent wind, snow, rain and rapid or prolonged thaw are signs of danger.
- Be alert for recent natural avalanches,” whoomping” sounds and shooting cracks. These are signs of an unstable snowpack.
- When you are in terrain steeper than 30 degrees, always travel one at a time while others watch from a safe location.
- Travel on the windward side of ridges. Never stop on or below steep slopes and cornices.
- Avoid terrain traps such as gullies, where even small avalanches can pile up deeply.
Mt. Bachelor is equipped with the RECCO avalanche rescue system.
Mt. Bachelor’s Avalanche Dog Program & T-Shirts
Mt. Bachelor’s Avalanche Dog Program is one we are proud to uphold. Our dogs join their handlers on the mountain every day for continued training and conditioning to ensure the safety of our guests. These specially trained dogs are skilled in locating victims beneath the snow after a slide. They are also very skilled in locating snacks!
You can support the Avalanche Rescue Dogs by purchasing a T-Shirt at the top of the Pine Marten lift. All proceeds go directly towards the purchase of food, insurance and certification programs for the dogs. Receive three (3) Avalanche Dog trading cards with your purchase! These cards list the skier responsibility code or the avalanche safety code on the back and are terrific for kids, new skiers and veterans!
Smart Style Terrain Parks
Freestyle terrain is becoming more popular at most mountain resorts and proper use is important. The National Ski Areas Association and Burton Snowboards have developed the “Smart Style” Freestyle Terrain Safety Initiative, a cooperative effort to continue the proper use and progression of freestyle terrain at mountain resorts, while also delivering a unified message that is clear, concise and effective.
The 3 main points of Smart Style are:
- Look Before You Leap – Before getting into freestyle terrain, observe all signage and warnings. Look around the jumps first. Use your first run as a warm-up run to familiarize yourself with the terrain. Be aware that the features change constantly due to weather, usage, grooming and time of day. Do not jump blindly and use a spotter when necessary.
- Easy Style It – Know your limits and ski or ride within your ability. Look for small progression parks or features to begin with and work your way up. Freestyle skills require maintaining control on the ground and in the air. Do not attempt any feature unless you have sufficient ability and experience to do so safely. Inverted aerials increase your risk of injury and are not recommended.
- Respect Equals Respect – Respect the terrain and others (freestyle terrain is for everyone regardless of equipment or ability). One person on a feature at a time. Wait your turn and call your start. Always clear the landing area quickly. Respect all signs and stay of closed terrain and features.