avalanche safety

Avalanches in the Rocky Mountains killed four people late last week, three in Colorado and one in Wyoming. Drew Hardesty is with the Utah Avalanche Center. He says it's been a fairly dry early season for many states around the West.

Two snowboarders who triggered an avalanche in the backcountry of Colorado in March are facing criminal charges.


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A recent analysis by WyoFile found that snowmobilers have topped backcountry skiers in avalanche fatalities throughout the state's history.

Forecasters in Colorado are warning of “very destructive” avalanches as heavy snowfall and strong winds are expected Wednesday.

Avalanches have already buried cars, killed skiers and left chunks of forest scattered across highways and even dangling from power lines in what’s considered a historic avalanche season. But Colorado isn’t alone.

There’s some apparent good news for backcountry adventurers in the West this winter: the number of avalanche deaths is declining.

Ryan Stanley

Quick recovery is key to avalanche survival. Experts say that 93 percent of avalanche victims can be recovered alive if they are dug out within the first 15 minutes, but after that, the likelihood of survival declines drastically. That’s why wearing avalanche beacons and knowing how to use them is an absolute must for backcountry enthusiasts.