The number of people being killed in avalanches in Montana has been growing over the years. New avalanche education opportunities have been cropping up to combat this trend. The Northern Rockies Avalanche Safety Workshop started up three years ago in the Flathead
The Workshop features a range of speakers presenting on weather conditions, avalanche safety, forecasting, and more as well as back country winter safety gear representatives.
“That’s ultimately our goal is we want to inform our community of cutting edge technology with snow science, and just kind of a general refresher on information from decision making to snow science to gear,” Chairman of the Workshop Committee Craig Moore said.
The Northwest Weather and Avalanche Center reports eighty-six people killed in avalanches in Montana since 1985. Between 1985 and 1999 Montana lost twenty-eight people in avalanches.
Since the 1999/2000 winter season, the number of people killed in avalanches in Montana has more than doubled with fifty-eight people killed in the same amount of time.
“I feel like all of us in the ski community, or the back country community are kind of bound together by that powerful mother nature factor that; no one’s bigger than the mountains,” Moore said.
The Workshop is open to all winter back country enthusiasts; professionals as well as users, skiers, snowmobile riders, snowboarders, hikers, climbers, anyone accessing the back country.
The workshop runs from 8 to 4 on Saturday the 12th at the Grouse Mountain Lodge in Whitefish.