Gov. Bill Walker has proclaimed November Avalanche Awareness Education Month.
Alaska ranks number one in the nation for avalanche deaths per capita. Six lives were lost in 2015-2016 from avalanche related incidents.
“The best way to stay safe is to know the conditions, get the training, carry rescue gear, and stay out of harm’s way,” Walker said in his proclamation.
There are multiple sources for information and training for Alaskans.
The Alaska Avalanche Information Center supports six avalanche information centers in Alaska, including one in Juneau and in Haines, that provide snow stability information and education opportunities. On its website, www.AlaskaSnow.org, there are web links to all of these observation and forecasting platforms, as well as courses and events that range from basic backcountry awareness to advanced and instructor training courses.
The Chugach National Forest Service Avalanche Information Center (www.cnfaic.org), the National Weather Service (www.weather.gov/afc/avalanche) are also good sources of information, as is the “Know Before You Go” video at the National Avalanche Center’s website (www.fsavalanche.org).