Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Avalanche Awareness Education Program

Yesterday I (Jerry Isaak, Outdoor Program Coordinator) went up to First Basin on Wing Ridge in the Wallowa Mountains, with Keith Stebbings, Director of the Wallowa Avalanche Center to gather some early season weather and snowpack information. You can read a summary of our field observations on the Wallowa Avalanche Center website. We encountered full winter conditions, with strong winds and increasingly heavy snowfall as the day progressed.

As the snowpack deepens in northeast Oregon the likelihood of avalanches also increases. The recent avalanche fatality in Utah highlights the potential hazards of traveling in avalanche terrain. However, travelling in the mountains during winter (whether skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, climbing, dog sledding or some other mode of travel) can be one of the most rewarding outdoor experiences. Avalanche awareness and education, along with good decision making, can help to mitigate some of the risks of traveling in avalanche terrain.

The Wallowa Avalanche Center has developed an Avalanche Awareness Education Program that will be presented at Eastern Oregon University on December 7th in the Outdoor Program (Hoke Union Building, Room 102). This free presentation focuses on the fundamentals of traveling safely in the winter environment where avalanche hazards exist.  The presentation addresses avalanche hazard awareness, tour planning, familiarity with avalanche center bulletins, basic equipment considerations, and the need for skill in companion rescue.  The presentation will begin at 7PM and will last until around 8:30PM.

Contact gisaak@eou.edu for more information.

No comments:

Post a Comment