My friend Allen Giernet has started an avalanche information and awareness website for Southern California, specifically the 3 mountain ranges that border LA (San Gabriels, San Bernardinos, and San Jacintos). It is called <www.socalsnow.org>. He is working feverishly at attaining both nonprofit and Level IV Avalanche Center status. I am working with him from the Eastern Sierra, helping with the website, finances, and whatever else I can. The idea is to create some common ground for backcountry enthusiasts in the mountains south of the Sierra.
Avalanche safety is the heart and soul of the website, with daily weather updates from each mountain range, as well as avalanche bulletins a few times a week. This resource will become more and more effective as more and more people participate. What we need are observations from the field. If you are out in the mountains of LA please check out the site and post a report. ANY information is valuable. We love to hear about snowpits and slides, but we also want to hear how good the skiing was yesterday!
Lastly, the site encompasses more than current weather and avalanche conditions. SoCal Snow will offer free Avalanche Awareness and Introduction to Beacon Use classes. We hope to support "Beacons and Beer Nights," as well as work towards a Beacon Basin at one of the LA local resorts. We also provide local weather forecasts for climbing areas, as well as links to pertinent LA backcountry websites. While the site is still rapidly improving, go ahead and check it out, you won't be disappointed.
Everyone who has checked out the site...the support is much appreciated! Keep checking for updates. As we get more reports, we will be posting more detailed, accurate bulletins. Also watch for Events, as we are really getting the ball rolling for our first Avalanche Awareness Class (free!!).
SoCalSnow is hosting its first free Avalanche Awareness Class on the evening of March 13th. Hosted at the Tarzana A16, the class will include a slideshow presentation, equipment demonstration, and question and answer session. Allen Giernet, class instructor and SoCalSnow director will also talk about using SoCalSnow as a resource, as well as what additional education and resources we hope to offer in the future.