Monday, February 16, 2009

The Danger Rose

I'd like to share something I think is cool and useful:

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Makes perfect sense, right?


What is it? It's a danger rose. It's a graphical representation of avalanche danger on particular aspects and elevations. This winter is the first time I've seen it used in the Central Sierra Avalanche Advisory, but I was in NZ last winter, so they may have started using it a year ago.

In any case, it was developed by the Colorado Avalanche Information Center, and they explain what it means here.

Common sense, awareness, and knowledge must prevail while traveling in the backcountry. Advisories like the Central Sierra one and graphical tools like the Danger Rose can play a huge part in keeping that knowledge requirement fresh.

We also have to remember that we're not safe just because we're in-bounds, too. I remember a minor epiphany a few years ago on a 2-3 foot Christmas Day at Alpine Meadows, when a patroller waiting with the impatient throng at the bottom of Summit Six at about 9:10am shouted for a raise of hands from anyone who was wearing a beacon (much less knowing how to use it, carrying a shovel and probe, and riding with friends who were doing the same)...two or three at most out of two hundred raised their hands.

Let's all stay safe out there, especially after it starts dumping on the heels of a mediocre January...

And if you've got a few spare dollars, consider donating them (Paypal link near the bottom of the page) to the Sierra Avalanche Center, so they can continue providing their fantastic service.

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