CARBONDALE - Safe backcountry travel is the goal of a free avalanche talk scheduled for Tuesday at Cripple Creek Backcountry.
Randy Young and Doug Stenclik, co-owners of the new ski shop, are hosting the 7:30 p.m. event. Light refreshments will be served, and Brian McCall, local avalanche forecaster with the Colorado Avalanche Information Center, will discuss area snowpack conditions.
Other topics will include planning and preparing for backcountry travel, recognizing avalanche terrain, decision-making and group dynamics in the backcountry and basic search and rescue with beacons, shovels and probes. An open forum will follow the presentation.
Last winter, seven people died in avalanche-related incidents in Colorado, the shop noted, citing Colorado Avalanche Information Center statistics. The two deaths recorded so far this season both occurred in the greater Roaring Fork Valley.
Cripple Creek Backcountry opened in November; its owners love backcountry skiing but acknowledge its dangers, according to Young.
"It's easy to become cavalier about safety when the snow is good," Young said in a statement. "Both Doug and I believe that discussions like this are invaluable because they refresh our memories on things like safe route-finding, safe terrain selection, group dynamics and red flags or warning signs while you're out in the backcountry."
Space at the event is limited. Those who wish to attend should RSVP at email@example.com.