Annual event features a beacon contest and other workshops to up your avalanche safety skills
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Colorado’s most recent avalanche fatality once again highlighted the importance of carrying, and knowing how to use, basic avalanche rescue gear.
Jeff Miller, 26, a well-liked backcountry powder enthusiast died Jan. 17 in a relatively small slide on a day when dangerous avalanche conditions were forecast for the area. According to official reports, neither Miller nor his partner were equipped with beacons.
It’s not clearg that a transceiver would have saved Miller’s life, but according to the Colorado Avalanche Information Center’s accident report, the use of a transceiver could have cut the time needed for the recovery from three days to one afternoon and reduced the level of exposure to the search and rescue teams, who were exposed to continued avalanche hazards during the rescue operation.
This weekend’s Beacon Bowl at Arapahoe Basin also focuses attention on the efficient use of avalanche beacons, as participants compete in a controlled setting, enabling backcountry skiers to determine how skilled they are at finding a buried beacon. The event, which is an important fundraiser for the CAIC, also includes a snowpit session an avy dog demo, beacon workshops and apres-ski fun with a raffle and silent auction.
Get the details on the Feb. 5 Beacon Bowl at A-Basin’s website.
Companion rescue, including a speedy beacon search, are crucial in avalanche burials. If they survive the initial trauma of the slide, most victims don’t survive for more than 30 minutes once they’re buried. In a best-case scenario, trained rescue teams usually don’t arrive on the scene for at least an hour, even in slides close to ski areas — far too late for most burials.
Join in the Beacon Bowl to hone your skills and learn more about avalanche search and rescue.
Read a story about avalanche burial statistics here.
More background on beacon and accident statistics are online here.
Filed under: Arapahoe Basin, avalanches, Colorado, Ski Resorts, snow, Summit County Colorado Tagged: | Arapahoe Basin Beacon Bowl, avalanche beacons, avalanche rescue, Avalanche transceiver, backcountry skiing, Colorado Avalanche Information Center, search and rescue, Summit County News