NYS DEC Warns of Avalanches in the Adirondack Back Country

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation warned Adirondack back country visitors to be aware of the danger of avalanches. Recent snowstorms have brought a significant amount of new snow to the Adirondack Park. The new snow resting on top of previous accumulations create conditions conducive to avalanches, particularly on steep, open slopes. Back country users should take necessary precautions.

Two skiers triggered an avalanche on Wright Peak on Saturday. Neither of the skiers was injured, but the incident underscores the risk of current conditions.

The threat of avalanche typically increases during and immediately after major snowfalls, as well as during thaws. But avalanches can occur in any situation where snow, slope and weather conditions combine to create the proper conditions. DEC reminds back country users to take the following precautions when traveling in avalanche-prone terrain:

  • Know avalanche rescue techniques.
  • Practice safe-route finding.
  • Carry safety equipment (transceiver, probe, shovel).
  • Never travel alone.
  • Know the terrain, weather and snow conditions.
  • Let someone know where you are going.

DEC provides information on avalanche danger and safety precautions on its web site. Also, a brochure titled “Avalanche Preparedness in the Adirondacks (PDF)” is available through the website or by contacting the DEC Region 5 office at (518) 897-1200.

Information regarding the terrain, weather and snow conditions can be obtained from DEC Forest Rangers at (518) 897-1300.


March 1st, 2010 | Category: Adirondacks, Nature & Outdoors, Winter Camping Skills

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