Snow Safety

A list of hand-picked resources on avalanche risk management.

Outdoors · 605 words · 4 min read

These are some excellent web pages, ebooks, and videos on snow safety. My hope is that this list will provide some affirmed, focused information amid the overwhelming volume of online content on the topic. These resources are intended to complement—not substitute—a proper ski mentorship: a good starting point on this concept is to read my thoughts on ski mentorship.

First is a list of websites I check before every tour:

For Beginners

  • Know Before You Go: a good intro video
  • Go Farther—Get Avalanche Trained: Avalanche Canada’s intro to avalanche training, where you’d start by taking the two-day AST 1 course from a number of different providers. Then spend 5–10 days in the backcountry and consider taking AST 2 (usually four days).
  • Avalanche Canada Online Avalanche Tutorial: a detailed introductory resource
  • Avalanche Canada Route-finding exercise: part of the immediately preceding tutorial worth emphasizing
  • Rogers Pass Winter Permit System: info on skiing in Rogers Pass, BC. Know the difference between a Winter Restricted Area and a Winter Prohibited Area, and put aside up to a few hours to do the Annual Winter Permit quiz if you’ve never toured in Rogers before. It isn’t required to do the quiz to ski in Rogers as you can still get daily winter permits at the Discovery Centre; however, doing the quiz will give you much more additional context regarding the rules of skiing at Rogers. Don’t be the ignorant few who ruin it for the rule-abiding many.

For Intermediate and Advanced Skiers

Again, these resources are not exhaustive and are meant to complement a ski apprenticeship with a more experienced mentor.

Find the gaps in your knowledge, read up on them, practice new techniques and ideas in the field, then re-read what you studied and find other perspectives on these topics until they become familiar.

I hope that this list is valuable to those anywhere along the ski-experience curve, from beginners to experts.