It’s been a record breaking winter at Berthoud Pass. Snow totals are big, but so are the avalanches associated with them. A massive 1,500-foot slide this week near Keystone took out an electrical tower and several skiers around the state have had close calls recently. Below are some spring snow safety tips from the CAIC. Be safe and enjoy the awesome amounts of snow out there.
Here is a quick review of spring snow safety. The goal is to ride on silky or creamy snow during the initial softening and melting. Then you need to get off and out from under steep slopes before too much water accumulates and weakens the snow surface. Boot penetration is a good gauge. Stand on the snow (no snowshoes, boards, or skis). If you sink into wet snow past your ankles, or pop through the surface crust into wet or weak snow underneath, the surface is too weak. Move to low angle terrain, a shadier aspect, or call it a day. Think about your exit route, and be aware of low elevation terrain traps.
That’s what we’ve been doing for the last six weeks. A dozen FOBP instructors completed the Silverton Mountain Avalanche School Level 2 course last month and more than 400 folks came out to party with us at the GNAR premiere at the Oriental Theater last week. We’ll have pictures and video of those events, plus announcements, upcoming events, on-snow fundraisers and much more coming real soon.
Until then, here’s a little something to keep you honest:
Buttery Berthoud Pass from our Friend Jason Blevins.
This past weekend was the annual FOBP on-snow avalanche awareness clinic.
Many thanks to all of our dedicated volunteers and eager participants.
Our Friend and volunteer field instructor Mike Bean posted a write-up of his experience, complete with some really great photographs, here at Through Polarized Eyes.
Brian Pollock got to spend the day skiing with a Berthoud Pass icon recently:
Berthoud Pass has been a big part of my life for the last seven years. Skiing at the Pass; learning and teaching backcountry safety and etiquette; hiking in the woods; figuring out how I can poach your stash—I love it.
But what if I had to leave it? Pack up my gear and leave not knowing when I would be back.
Read the rest of this entry »
In the latest issue of The Ski Journal, our Friend Michael Israelson offers a tongue-in-cheek missive on ski culture stickers. Not surprisingly, our totally awesome stickers are mentioned.
We think our subscription to The Ski Journal is worth every penny. The 9×11 format, heavy stock paper, crisp and elegant layout, gallery-quality photography, and thoughtful, well-crafted articles are nice, but the best part is the lack of advertisements.
Born of the passion and hard work of a handful of self-proclaimed skids and bums, The Ski Journal has, in just a few years, become one of the best ski magazines in the world. Read the rest of this entry »