Media

  • Companion Rescue, The deciding factor in an avalanche accident - Explore Big Sky - 2017-Mar-15

    Companion rescue

    The deciding factor in an avalanche accident

    By Eric Knoff

    EBS Contributor

    Backcountry skiing and snowmobiling has exploded in popularity over the past 10 years. Every winter more skiers and riders hit the backcountry in pursuit of steep faces and untracked powder. This type of riding has increased the inherent risk of being caught in an avalanche and on average, 30 people die in avalanches every year in the United States.

    View pdf: Companion_Rescue.pdf


  • Less People, more fatalities - Carve - 2017-Feb-11

    Our job at the avalanche center is to warn and inform the public about the snowpack and avalanche danger. Unfortunately, the best information cannot prevent all avalanche accidents and deaths will remain a part of winter recreation. Montana has a million people, one of the least populated states, but in the last 15 years we are ranked second in the nation in avalanche fatalities and first in snowmobiler fatalities. These are not standings I am proud of: less people, more fatalities. Not a tag-line for the Montana Office of Tourism.

    View pdf: Carve_Feb 2017_less people more fatalities.pdf


  • Avalanche Forecasting in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Tajikistan - The Avalanche Review - 2017-Feb-01

    Home of the Karakorum, Hindu Kush and Pamir mountains, Central Asia has a serious avalanche hazard.  Mountain communities throughout Pakistan, Afghanistan and Tajikistan experienced a widespread avalanche cycle in March 2012 and again in February 2015 that destroyed villages, killed livestock and took the lives of hundreds of residents.

    View pdf: 35.3.Chabot Asia. Proof 1.pdf


  • The Anatomy of an Avalanche - Carve - 2017-Jan-17

    Avalanches involving people don’t happen randomly. 90% of avalanche incidents are triggered by the victim or someone in their party. In order to play safely in avalanche terrain we need to understand what’s happening with the snow.

    View pdf: Carve_Jan17_Anatomy of Avalanche.pdf


  • Avalanche Q&A - Carve - 2016-Dec-15

    Every year we teach almost 100 avalanche classes to nearly 5,000 people across a wide swath of the recreating public: grade school and graduate students, skiers, snowmobilers, ice climbers, search and rescue groups, and ski patrols. Though the groups are diverse, the questions are similar. Here’s some answers the most common ones.

    View pdf: CARVE 12.15.16.pdf


  • SnowPilot: By professionals, for professionals - The Avalanche Review - 2016-Oct-01

    In 2002 Karl Birkeland was researching a new stability test, the Stuffblock, and needed willing participants to try it and record their data. Since Karl sits in the cubicle next to me, I was an easy recruit. All that season I filled a stuff sack with ten pounds of snow and dropped it from ever increasing heights, dutifully recording the results in my yellow Rite-in-the-Rain book along with other pit information. It was a relatively easy task.

    View pdf: Chabot SnowPilot TAR.pdf


  • Spring Riding - MSA - 2016-Mar-20

    Spring riding can be some of the best of the season. Good snow coverage, warmer weather and more predictable snow stability (at times) can lead to unmatched riding conditions. Riding ability also improves after a full season which allows riders to push the envelope in avalanche terrain. While spring riding can be the best, it can also hold avalanche hazards not encountered during the colder parts of winter.

    View pdf: Spring Riding.pdf


  • Mitigating Avalanche Hazard - MSA - 2016-Feb-25

    There were 15 avalanche fatalities in the western United States in January, 2016, the deadliest January in over 20 years. Five of the fatalities were snowmobilers, one was a snowbiker, six were skiers, two were snowboarders and one was a climber. Avalanches are an equal opportunity killer and do not discriminate. To avoid becoming a statistic follow three simple rules of backcountry travel and learn to manage terrain and snowpack carefully.

    View pdf: Mitigating Avalanche Hazard.pdf


  • Not a Second to Waste - Carve - 2016-Feb-12

    By: Doug Chabot

    Over the last ten years the US has averaged 27 avalanche fatalities a year. This season is on track to easily meet that. This January there were 11 fatalities in the west, one of the highest Januarys on record.  Statistically, February is no better so brace yourself for more tragedy. Here in southwest Montana there have been two avalanche fatalities so far (as of February 1) with an additional 32 close calls reported.

    View pdf: CARVE 02.15.16.pdf


  • The 2015-16 Season Snowpack is BAD - Carve - 2016-Jan-15

    This winter’s snowpack has been described in the avalanche advisories as bad, poor, weak, unstable, dangerous, and tricky. The reason is simple: the early snows in November transformed into sugary grains of angular facets that do not bond to each other and are exceptionally weak. These facets are the foundation of our snowpack. This foundation is weak, crumbly and poorly supports December’s snowfall.

    View pdf: CARVE 01.15.16.pdf