COVID-19, Backcountry Safety, and Personal Responsibility

Hello Friends, 

We sincerely hope that you are all staying healthy and safe in this time of uncertainty and stress. 

Given the current circumstances, Eastern Sierra Avalanche Center is STRONGLY discouraging backcountry skiing and recreation in an effort to protect our communities and to avoid additional strain on our limited rescue and healthcare resources.  We will no longer be conducting field work or issuing advisories.  These are times of difficult decisions.  If you do choose to head out in the backcountry, every effort should be made to avoid injuries and maintain physical distance.

We understand the draw of the mountains and the need for fresh air, however now is the time to be conservative in your decisions and consider the impact your actions may have on our communities.

Please consider the following when deciding if or how to recreate:

  • Anytime you recreate, injuries are possible. Anytime there is snow on the ground, avalanches are possible. Recognize if you are involved in a backcountry incident, your preventable event will result in an undue burden on the limited rescue and healthcare resources in the Eastern Sierra.
  • If you get injured, normal treatment may not  be available.  Your own Life and Limb are at much greater risk. 
  • California Governor Gavin Newsom has issued a shelter-in-place order for the entire state ordering all individuals living in California to stay home or at their place of residence.
  • Mono County, Inyo County, the Town of Mammoth Lakes, and the City of Bishop have all declared a State of Emergency. This means that restaurants, bars, and visitors centers are closed, gatherings of more than 6 people are discouraged, and visitors are strongly discouraged from coming to the region
  • Inyo and Mono Counties have requested people to not take part in high-risk outdoor activities, including backcountry skiing. SAR teams are already operating at a diminished capacity and rescues will require rescue teams to break social distancing rules and may result in taking rescuers out of commission for weeks.


Please stay safe and healthy. 

- The ESAC Family

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