IDPR ENCOURAGES ALL WINTER RECREATIONALISTS TO ATTEND FREE AVALANCHE SAFETY COURSESThursday January 23, 2020
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: January 23, 2020
Contact: Rich Gummersall, Recreational Education Coordinator
208-514-2414 / Richard.Gummersall@idpr.idaho.gov
IDPR ENCOURAGES ALL WINTER RECREATIONALISTS TO ATTEND FREE AVALANCHE SAFETY COURSES
IDAHO (January 20, 2020)— Every year in the United States, an average of 28 people die in avalanches. So far, in the 2019-2020 season, there have already been 12 fatalities. And these fatalities occurred during a variety of recreational activities—from snowshoeing to snowmobiling.
The Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation (IDPR) offers free snowmobile-based avalanche awareness classes. The class is geared to familiarize the winter backcountry recreationalist with hazard-recognition and techniques for safe travel in avalanche terrain.
While the classes are oriented around snowmobiles, there are benefits for all winter recreationalists and we would like to encourage everyone to attend these free statewide classes occurring from January 10th through February 22nd.
Safety Tips for Winter Recreationalists
Get the gear –
You have 15 minutes to save a life! Every recreationist, snowmobile or otherwise, needs to carry on your person and know how to use an avalanche transceiver, probe, and shovel.
Get the training –
Everyone entering Idaho’s backcountry needs basic avalanche awareness. Don’t stop at a classroom avalanche awareness class be sure to attend a field companion rescue course. IDPR offers both for free.
Get the forecast –
Know before you go! – Take time to watch the weather and visit avalanche.org to review the local forecast for the area you are planning to ride. Take the time in advance to learn to read and understand a forecast.
Get the picture –
With the knowledge from attending a class, watching the weather, and reading the forecast getting the picture is about seeing and understanding the snow, weather, and group safety challenges we face in the mountains.
Get out of harm’s way –
Going one at a time on avalanche terrain can reduce fatalities up to 63 percent. Utilize your resources to identify avalanche terrain, use conservative decision making and careful route finding.