3 Ways to Learn Backcountry Safety

Summer Hess

While learning to ski the steeps with good technique and style is a worthy goal, so is equipping yourself to make good decisions in the backcountry. A lot of the backcountry safety clinics have been advertised this season, but many are sold out thanks to an increased interest in the sport.

Here are some ways to start rounding out your backcountry skills:

  • Ski seasonal roads. If you’re new to the sport or don’t have any snow-science education, seek out low-angle slopes away from avalanche danger and side-country options. The Summit Road at Mount Spokane State Park is a good place to start.
  • Buy a beacon and practice. Even if you’re not heading into avalanche-prone terrain, it’s a good idea to build good habits.
  • Read safety information and watch avy education videos online. The Northwest Avalanche Center has online education modules. The Idaho Panhandle Avalanche Center also has tutorials on topics like how to read an avalanche forecast.
Strategic shoveling for avalanche rescue training. // Photo courtesy Selkirk Powder Guides.

Find more Out There Outdoors’ mountain safety stories.

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