Item: "safe skiing" backcountry skiing in avalanche terrain
Title: "safe skiing" backcountry skiing in avalanche terrain
Proceedings: 1990 International Snow Science Workshop, Bigfork, Montana USA, October 9-13
Authors: Brad Meiklejohn
Abstract: Over the three winters from 1987 to 1990, 70% of u.S. avalanche victims were "experienced" backcountry skiers. Current avalanche education does not address the backcountry skier who actively seeks avalanche terrain as a playground. Field methods exist which increase the safety of backcountry skiing in avalanche terrain. These techniques include; placement and use of snowpits, selection and use of test slopes, stability testing with cornices and rocks,ski cutting, run selection, on-slope skiing, group movement, and communication. Proper timing, and the ability to adjust skiing and route selections according to snow stability, are key elements in "safe skiing". A safety protocol based on these skills is presented in this paper for use by educators and advanced backcountry skiers.
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Keywords: safety, skiing, victims, education, snowpits, communication, snow stability
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