You know the place. It’s home to your favorite, best ever top-to-bottom run, ride or paddle glide. Where the stars and the conditions align and you enter, the zone. Where that certain restaurant chainsaws ice blocks, where that artist forges up-cycled iron, that chef creates farm-to-mountain-top dinners, that entrepreneur brainstorms the next killer App on a chairlift. Where that local kid wins international competitions, training in one of the safest cities in California.
Backcountry skiing and snowboarding is an amazing way to experience the out of doors in a totally new winter environment. Travelling on busy summer trails now quiet and covered with a blanket of fresh Sierra snow can transform a mundane path into a winter wonderland of tall drifts and smooth angles. Having a good time in the mountainous winter backcountry inevitably includes having the knowledge to keep you and your group safe.
Avalanche danger is the biggest threat to safety when entering the backcountry, but thankfully taking an avalanche class is the easiest way to learn about mitigating risk to pursue your backcountry missions. There are truly dozens of reasons why you should take an avy class, but we’ll boil it down to five important ones!
1. Know Before You Go
Knowledge is key in the world of backcountry skiing.