Item: Avalanche hazard evaluation at ski areas
Title: Avalanche hazard evaluation at ski areas
Proceedings: Proceedings of the 1996 International Snow Science Workshop, Banff, Canada
Authors: Jon Ueland, Avalanche Program, Big Sky of Montana, P.O. Box 160152, Big Sky, MT 59716, Tel. (406) 995-5878
Abstract: There is a lot of literature written about avalanche hazard evaluation and forecasting, but it's seldom from the perspective of a ski area avalanche worker. Because of the large area of avalanche terrain that they deal with, back country, heli-ski and highway forecasters usually have to rely on weather and snow pit data from limited areas and interpret it for large areas, when making their avalanche hazard assessments. Many avalanche books address avalanche hazard evaluation from the perspective of back country skiers, focusing on the slopes an individual wants to ski. This is similar to ski areas, except ski area workers have the advantage of using explosives and knowing the history of the slide paths, both short term and long term. Ski areas have to be very thorough in there assessments and hazard reduction procedures because the slopes will be opened to numerous avalanche triggers who have little or no avalanche knowledge.
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Keywords: hazard assessment, stability evaluation, intuition
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