Mountain Safety

Happy New Year! Here’s hoping 2014 is filled with good luck and incredible powder days for all of you.

Before we get too far into the year let’s take a moment and remember the 75+ brothers, sisters, fathers, mothers and friends that passed away in avalanche accidents around the world last season. These were all incredible people who were taken from our lives too soon. No doubt we’ll cherish their memories and find a glimmer of light in the fact that they died doing something that they loved to do.

Sad to report that Winter 2013-2014 has already proven to be just as deadly around the world. Approximately 27 people have died in avalanches so far this winter including 14 in Europe, 7 in Japan, 5 in the United States and 1 in Canada. Without knowing the details behind all of these recent accidents, the only common thread that can be linked between the incidents is that somewhere in each sequence of events a critical terrain selection mistake was made. These fallen friends made the decision to shred the wrong slope on the wrong day.

Skier Amie Engerbretson about to get buried in an avalanche in Utah on Dec 9, 2013. She was rescued and escaped injury. Photo by Utah Avy Center.

There’s no more powerful avalanche awareness lesson than learning from the mistakes of others. Understanding the decisions that were made in the run up to an accident provides valuable perspective that can be used as another brick in the foundation of knowledge that will help you make safe decisions. Learning about recent accidents in your region is especially important as the reports discuss the snow layers you will be shredding all winter.

Two recent avy incidents in the United States worth hearing about are the Dec 26th accident on Pucker Face in Jackson Hole that killed one skier and the Dec. 9th avalanche in Little Cottonwood, Utah that buried (but did not kill) pro skier Amie Engerbretson. People involved in both accidents have released very informative first-hand reports.

First-hand Jackson Hole Pucker Face accident report

Photographer Adam Clark talks about Little Cottonwood avy accident

Utah Avy Center Little Cottonwood accident report

Slide path in Dec 9th Little Cottonwood avalanche accident. Photo by Utah Avy Center.

You can find other accident reports here:

US - www.avalanche.org
CA - www.avalanche.ca

Learn from these mistakes and ride to live another day!

Share Story
Published on
6 January 2014
13
Nov
Videos
OUT HERE ep.1 - Splitboarding In The Tetons With Iris Lazz
Thrilled to debut the first episode of the new OUT HERE video series! Made in partnership with Spark R&D, the OUT HERE series will share the splitboard adventures of Jones x Spark ambassadors as they explore the outer reaches of their...
Iris Lazzareschi
6
Nov
Introducing The 2019 DSCNT Pack Series
When you are one with your backcountry pack in fit and function it is a game changer. You move faster and conserve energy to ride stronger when your food and water are close at hand and your gear is locked down tight. We live and breathe...
Seth Lightcap
31
Oct
Published by Jeremy Jones
Eat Ride Vote By Jeremy Jones
When I started Protect Our Winters in 2007 the last thing I thought I would be dealing with was politics. I was just a snowboarder who had seen the effects of global warming first hand and who did not like the thought of a future without snow. I...
Jeremy Jones
23
Oct
Introducing The 2019 Jones Binding Collection
Bindings are the critical link between your body and your board. The perfect binding hugs your boot with no pressure points and transfers every movement to your edges with maximum efficiency. New for 2019, we are thrilled to introduce two new...
Seth Lightcap
18
Oct
Adventure Season - Trip Reports
2018 Jones BC Adventure Grant: Exploring The Kenai Fjords
Thrilled to present a trip report from the 2018 Jones Backcountry Adventure Grant expedition. In April 2018, Mount Baker local Corey Nolan and a crew of friends used the grant to help fund an exploratory trip to Kenai Fjords National Park in...
Seth Lightcap
16
Oct
Adventure Season - Trip Reports
Tacking & Turning - A Sail/Split Expedition To Canada’s Jervis Inlet
Thrilled to present a trip report from the 2018 Jones Ambassador Adventure Grant expedition! In 2018 we awarded the grant to Jones Ambassador Harry Kearney to help fund a unique sailboat based trip to a remote zone on Canada’s West Coast. Harry...
Harry Kearney