The goal of Jones Snowboards’ Avalanche Awareness Month is to bring attention to the realities of avalanche danger and help backcountry snowboarders clue into new means of continuing education. If you’re ready to get schooled on some of the latest avalanche awareness media and research here are some fascinating videos and articles by Backcountry Access, University of Calgary, The New York Times and Outside Magazine.
Colorado based gear manufacturer Backcountry Access has been helping lead the charge in continuing avalanche awareness education for the last decade. Recently they have produced informative videos about beacon searching and shovelling techniques as well as publishing several research papers about the influences affecting dangerous backcountry decision making.
BCA Research Papers – Title is download link to PDF:
Under the Radar:Exploiting “New School” Media to Capture Unreported Avalanche Incidents by Bruce Edgerly
Surveys dozens of unreported avalanche accidents and highlights the conclusion that shovelling, not beacon searching, is often the most difficult part of an avalanche rescue.
Talking the Talk: Human Factors, Group Communication, and the Next Frontier in Snow Safety by Bruce Edgerly
Discusses how lack of group communication causes more accidents than any other factor.
The ABC’s (and D) of Digging: Avalanche Shoveling Distilled to the Basics by Bruce Edgerly
Details the new recommended rescue shovelling techniques. For more Backcountry Access research papers go here.
The University of Calgary Applied Snow and Avalanche Research Center produces some of the most cutting edge avalanche research in the world. To spread the word about their research to the backcountry ski/shred world they have begun summarizing their research in video form. Check it out: Vulnerability: Caught in an avalanche. Then what are the odds? By Alan Jones. Considerable Avalanche Danger: How much riskier is it? Some calculations of risk for skiing at various levels of avalanche danger.
How do you stress the snowpack? By Scott Thumlert.
For more U of Calgary videos check out the outreach page on their website.
Tunnel Creek Avalanche Media:
The February 2012 Tunnel Creek avalanche in Stevens Pass was one of the most tragic stories of last winter. The incident brought significant mainstream media attention to the rising number of avalanche accidents and the science behind avalanches in general. The New York Times and Outside magazine have recently released captivating new media about the Tunnel Creek story. Both articles are extremely gripping and a must-read for anyone who often ventures in the backcountry with a large group. The six part, 16,000 word NYT piece is also a stunning example of multi-media including animations, video interviews and slideshows. Set aside at least an hour to give it a thorough read. Here are the links:
“Snow Fall: The Avalanche at Tunnel Creek,” by New York Times reporter John Branch“Tunnel Vision,” by Outside Magazine writer Megan Michelson