The first day of winter is December 21, but a telltale sign of the colder months is here. Starting November 30, the Sawtooth Avalanche Center will start publishing daily avalanche advisories. The center is relying on a range of media to broadcast its information.
Even if you know nothing about avalanches, Scott Savage, the director of the center, says their advisories will still be helpful.
“You’ll get a basic concept of how dangerous is it out there and some really simple travel advice,” he says. “For people who have a little bit of avalanche education or they’ve been skiing or snowmobiling more, they can get that next level of information where we’ll talk about specific avalanche problems.”
According to Savage, this is something of a record-setting year already. It’s the first time in the center’s history it’s issuing an advisory in November. He says the unseasonably warm temperatures around Thanksgiving were good for the weaker snowpack layers and could possibly prevent serious incidents later in the winter.
The center is relying on several ways to get their daily advisories out to the public. In addition to a telephone hotline, Savage highlights the center’s website, email list and a podcast. And don’t forget social media.
Savage says the center got over half a million hits via Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. “That dwarfed our website visits,” he says.
The Sawtooth Avalanche Center wants tips on conditions from the field by way of recreationists. Observations and pictures can be submitted to the center on their website.
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