Before you venture out on your splitboard, whether that be from your local ski area, a roadside attraction, or deep into the wild, be sure you possess the necessary skills to travel safely in the backcountry. Snow stability assessment, the impact of weather on the snowpack, how to read terrain, proper route selection, practicing rescue scenarios, and understanding the human element are all important factors in making sure your day in the backcountry starts and ends safely.
There are a number of excellent resources available to you on the web, we’ve listed a few of them here:
Avalanche.org – One stop shop for comprehensive avy info.
Interactive Backcountry Tour – Test your decision making skills in this pretend backcountry outing.
Current Avalanche Bulletins – Forecasts and bulletins compiled by the Cyberspace Avalanche Center (CSAC).
Avalanche Incidents – Learn from past avy incidents. What was done right or wrong?
Splitboard.com Avy Forum – Share your local avy observations and post questions here.
AIARE (Avalanche Institute for Avalanche Research and Education) – This link will give you a list of AIARE certified Avalanche course providers around the world.
Tunnel Creek Avalanche – In depth NY Times article on the Stevens Pass, Washington “Tunnel Creek Avalanche.”
BCA (Backcountry Access) – BCA has taken the time to create various training documents and videos on how to properly use your avalanche safety equipment. Additionally, you will find research papers, statistics, Beacon training park locations, Avalanche educators, and even some avalanche survivor stories.
California ( Mt. Shasta, Tahoe, Eastern Sierra) Oregon ( Wallowa) Washington (Northwest) Idaho (Panhandle, Payette, Sawtooth) Montana (Flathead, Missoula, Gallatin) Wyoming (Bridger-Teton) Utah (Utah Avalanche Center) Colorado (Colorado Avalanche Center) Arizona (Kachina Peaks) New Hampshire (Mount Washington) Alaska (Chugach, Valdez, The Alaska Avy Center, Cordova, Juneau)
National Weather Service Homepage – Your comprehensive weather information resource. Be sure to look at the Forecast Discussion link at the bottom of your forecast. This will give you more detailed information from the forecasters in the area you are interested in.
Open Snow Forecasts and Reports – Reports from pow junkies weather men. Locations include Colorado, New England, Tahoe, Utah, Mid Atlantic, Northwest and the upper Midwest
NOAA Enhanced Radar – This link will show the Radar and relative amount of moisture falling. At the bottom users can select their portion of the US. Use this grid to aid in understanding the DBZ rating that NOAA uses.
NOAA Pacific Satellite – Animated Satellite showing storm paths from the pacific.
NOAA 5 Day Precipitation Forecast– This image shows the projected precipitation over the next 5 days across the US.
Jetstream forecast – The Jetstream’s forecast for the next 5 days.