On the Hill: Backcountry information
The Backcountry Awareness Forum invites all backcountry travelers to the ballroom of The Little Nell hotel on Friday.The annual event will feature an introduction to the new Roaring Fork Avalanche Center, which is devoted to providing specialized weather report and avalanche conditions in the backcountry surrounding Aspen, Glenwood Springs and the other towns of the valley. The center aims to provide information about the Fryingpan Valley and Marble area, which the Forest Service wasn’t able to do in the past, said Jim Stark of the Aspen Ranger District.Backcountry adventurers will also be able to use the Roaring Fork Avalanche Information Center’s website to share information.”People can get in there and learn what other people are seeing,” Stark said.The new director of the Colorado Avalanche Information Center, Ethan Greene, will also make a short presentation at Friday’s meeting.Officials of the U.S. Forest Service will discuss ski area boundary management policies, and Aspen Skiing Co. officials will go over specific boundary policies for each of its four ski areas. Some rules are changing this year at Aspen Highlands, for example, with construction of the Deep Temerity chairlift, Stark said.The presentation by the Forest Service and Skico will include a question-and-answer session.Other presentations will include information from the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office on search policies as well as search and rescue procedures along with tips for backcountry travel by Mountain Rescue-Aspen.The event will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday. Co-hosts are the Forest Service’s Aspen Ranger District, Aspen Skiing Co., Pitkin County and the Roaring Fork Avalanche Center.Admission is free and includes the screening of a short film, “Out of Ophirica.” The Stone Brewery will provide refreshments.Call Jim Stark of the Aspen Ranger District with questions about the event, 925-3445.The Roaring Fork Avalanche Center’s website will be operating next week at rfavalanche.org. The center is operating a recorded telephone message, in conjunction with the Forest Service ,at 920-1664.Avalanche reportThe avalanche danger in the central mountains is moderate below treeline, and moderate with pockets of considerable near and above treeline, particularly on northwest, northeast and east aspects.Avalanche danger details provided by the Colorado Avalanche Information Center. For more information, call 920-1664 or visit geosurvey.state.co.us/avalanche
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