With Mammoth Mtn and June Mtn closing due to the global COVID19 situation, and this past weeks substantial new snowfall, backcountry skiing and riding is spiking. This includes a lot of new people without much experience or avalanche trianing. While this is a way to "social distance" during this time of critical health concern, remember that avalanches are real and don't discriminate, and keep in mind the other ways that you could be injured and potentially add strain to the health care system. Education, training and proper equipment are all keys to travelling safely in the backcountry. If you are new to the backcountry at the least click "resources" above to link to basic on-line avalanche education and go with people you trust and can learn from. If you are a backcountry regular, be respectful, we were all there once! If you see an oportunity to pass on some sage advice, ask first, and let's all help each other to stay safe out there.
Here is the latest messaging from Avalanche Canada that we should all take heed of here in the Sierra as well:
Avoid adding load to the healthcare system at this time
COVID-19 is creating unprecedented challenges to our healthcare system. All avalanche forecasting agencies are urging backcountry users to be extra vigilant to the possibility of any type of incident that could add more load to a system already under huge pressure.
Please consider this fact while planning your recreation. This could be a time to avoid the backcountry. If you choose to head out, every effort should be made to avoid injuries. We encourage you to take all precautions necessary to safeguard the health and safety of your group and others.