Avy Challenge challenging backcountry snowmobilers to be avalanche prepared

1Jun/11Off

2010/2011 US Avalanche Fatalities

US snowmobiler avalanche fatalities dropped markedly during the 10/11 season . There were only 4 recorded snowmobile related avalanche deaths in the US, out of a total of 25 avalanche deaths across all winter activities. This is down substantially from the brutal 17 snowmobiler fatalities seen during the season of 09/10. While a single avy death is too much, it is encouraging that there was a 76% decline in total fatal sledder/avy incidents year over year, and that snomwmobilers only counted for 16% of the overall deaths. This seems especially positive given the record or near-record snowfall seen in many parts of the west.

The fatal snowmobile related incidents recorded in 10/11 include:

11-26-2010
Cherry Hill, Western Uinta Mountains Utah
1 Snowmobiler caught and killed in avalanche

12-29-2010
Big Creek, NE of Calder, ID
1 snowmobiler caught, buried, and killed

01-08-2011
Near Flathead Reservoir, MT
3 snowmobilers caught, buried, 1 killed

02-20-2011
Sand Peak, Routt National Forest, CO
1 snowmobiler caught, buried, and killed

An updated chart showing the number of snowmobile related incidents since 1999:

12Oct/10Off

keep up the challenge

Congrats to everyone that has taken the challenge!!  If you haven't, sign up below and spread the word.  It could save a life - maybe your own.  If you can help out in any way, please use the contact form at the top of the page and let us know.

Filed under: Sledding Comments Off
20Mar/10Off

Take the Challenge

We are starting a new program (a movement hopefully) called the Avy Challenge. We will be partnering with a variety of organizations to help make this a reality. Please spread the word.

The first part is really simple: Commit to always wearing a beacon and carrying proper gear whenever riding in the backcountry. The second part will take a little more commitment: Commit to never riding with others in the backcountry unless your riding partner(s) are carrying beacons and gear as well.

Along with this there is a commitment to training, education and good decision making. Proper gear is not effective unless you know how to use it AND use your head.

A simple concept really, but very powerful. You are protecting yourself and encouraging others to be safe as well. Will you bow out of a ride or two, maybe. Will you have to tell someone they need to be better prepared, possibly. However, this is a small price to pay for being avy aware and ready.

Let the world know you are committed to avalanche safety and sign below (email addresses are for confirmation only and will not be displayed).

Name:

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Riders that have accepted the challenge:

Ben Hansen,

Darrell Chilko,

Susie Rainsberry,
Great idea!! Thanks for taking the initiate!!

Todd White,

Bobby Mulligan,
AST 1 from Zacs Tracs(2 times), DTS Tracker, ABS Variante Backpack, SOS Shovel and Probe

Tim Piver,

Andy Sowders,

Lyle,

Vanessa Sowders,

Graeme Browne (GasCan),
Completed AST 1 Classroom & Field Course. I always carry beacon, probe, shovel, and SP Avy Bag. I know how to use them properly, and I use common sense when assessing terrain, snowpacks, and reading Avy condition reports. Ride smart, ride home, and ride another day!

Tracey Tolin,

Karen Dix-Colony,
Training cannot be over-stressed!

Robyn MacKillop,

Cassidy Whitley,
AST 1 (3 X)

Bret Rasmussen,
I ride the backcountry daily and never leave the trail head w/out beacon, probe and shovel. If someone in my group does not have a beacon i will loan them one for the day.

Gillene Gauthier,
Completed AST 1 classroom & field from Zacs Tracs, Pieps DSP beacon, SOS probe & shovel. I always read the avalanche bulletins before I go out, and am always trying to promote avalanche awareness whenever I can!!

NIck Thompson,

mark andrychuk,
ast1 beacon/probe abs pack with shovel in it, spare shovel on sled, spare beacon and probe in trailer, wont ride with anyone with out knowledge

Lorne Myers,
AST 1 with Lori at Zacs Tracs.

Ken Nielsen (Sibola),
ride safe or don't ride at all

Christi Hansen,

SHAWN KEATS,
Completed 3 avy courses,fully prepared,never ride with unequipped sledders...send them home!

Sandy Ott,
Two recent Level 1 classes, with multiple refreshers each season.

Ride safe, Ride smart, Live to ride another day!

Dave Lynn,

Dorothy Lynn,

Doug Tulloch,
exactly how we already live/stay alive. LOVE seeing this idea spread. very positive change! thanks.

Brandy Floyd,
Beacon, probe, shovel, avy pack, brain, responsible avalanche aware riding partners = a good day on the mountain. :)

Mark Knodel,
Zacs Tracs AST-1 trained, Carry all the avalanche safety gear, including a Snowpulse Highmark backpack. Plus a lot of other safety stuff. My pack is full.

Roger Burgstaler,

Brian Backus,
Beacons, probes, shovels for our crew.. always.

Chad Borchers,

Robyn Ostlund,
AST 1 with Zacs, ONLY ride with a beacon, shovel, probe, 1st Aid pack and others with training, knowledge, common sense.

Kevin Ostlund,
AST 1 with Zacs Tracs - ride with the essentials. Last day I rode I was with a group that I had never rode with. I made sure that they all had the proper equipment and knew how to use it...I was buried in a naturally triggered avy and they saved my life.

Kevin Toombs,
Never travel in the Mtns without survival gear and Beacon, Probe and Shovel.

Todd Weselake,

Nathan Briggs,

phil wilson,
Been doing this every time for over 10 years

dc76,

Andrew Silani,
I guess this means Watson 777 needs to get a beacon! What a way to motivate him!

Warren Stevenson,
Getting my AST 1 ASAP

Rob Hayward,

Jodie Phillips,

Lori White,
This is great and Thank You!!!

Jason Solheim,

Gunnar Oesterreich,
I will spread the word in Sweden!

Sheldon Belcher,
I carry all avalanche gear, along with lots of other survival equipment, at all times. You never know when you're riding on a trail and someone comes along that requires avalanche rescue elsewhwere. Everyone I ride with has all the right equipment and a good knowledge of avalanche training!

Keith Fickling,
AST snowmobile provider Revelstoke

Matt Sweet,

Susie Fagen-Wirges,
Taking charge of our own destiny.

Chad Carlson,

mike gostola,

Brent Lish,

Alan Hawood,

Robin Sherman,

Gia Guzman,
This is Fantastic

Christopher Parrett,
As the Admin on SnoWest, I will do my part to try and spread this challenge to all the members of SnoWest. This is a simple and obviously effective way to reduce risk and help out other riders as well.

Dave Renshaw,
I took my AST1 coarse through Hangfire Avalanche Training.I will up grade every season and I always ride with beacon,probe,shovel,GPS and Satellite phone.Just like they taught in Boyscouts Always Be Prepaired.Have you been trained yet???

Dave Renshaw,

Robb Warner,

stacey,

Heather Smith,
I think this is a great!!!!!

Bryan Jorgensen,
Too much tragedy lately not to take heed.
BEACON+SHOVEL+PROBE+AIRBAG+CARE=MORE RIDING

Wes Adams,

Lori & Randy Zacaruk - Zac\'s Tracs,
We've been pushing this challenge for the past eleven years. It's been a steep slope but with initiatives like this taking off we're relieved and believe that we're about to see big changes within our sledding community! Yippee!
Keep it up guys! We all have too much to lose!

Bob Potter,
Took AST1 with Lori @ Zacs Tracs (2 times).Beacon,shovel,probe,SPOT locator and SnowPulse.Rest of my riding group has taken AST 1 from Zacs Tracs.Good feeling knowing they got your back!!

Matt hnatuk,

Warren Kinnee,
Ast1 w/ Zacs Tracs

Ben Goldak,

Robbin Wilson,

Mike,

Dan Adams,
Choose to ride another day! I teach Avalanche safety to insure the future of our sport.

Scott Crabbs,

Tim Tarpley,
I never leave home without it.

Andy M,
Avy 1 and 2 Cert. Always check snow/weather reports and bring a cool head with all your cool gear

Brian Smith,

spencer scholz,

TJ Hanna,

jay lane,

Dave Norona,
Play Safe and Have a wicked winter!!

Matt Adams,
Great to see the awareness being spread!

evan bordenkircher,
thanks all for makin it safer

Tyler Christiansen,
Involved in a club in norther Minnesota spreading the word of avalanche safety for Midwest Mountain Riders.

Jamie Edwards,

Manatee,

Richard Suttie,
Also don't forget survival items, fire starter, emergency food, water etc.

karl,

karl,

Scott,

Tharin Huisman,
Take a course every year, practice, practice and then practice.

Matt,

Donald Bowerman,

Travis Meacham,
Wearing a beacon and having friends that knew how to use it saved my life.

Dan,

Phil,

ANDREW DOHERTY,

John WYNE,

joshua Maynes,

Tim Swestka,
Great Idea

Mick Steinman,
WSSA Safety chair
Keep up the good work

greg bickle,

kevin b,

kevin bergen,
,

Mike Kobylka,

Jamie Shaw,
Be safe out there........

Kaleb Timberlake,

Dave Klein(Dam Dave),

Nick McLean,

freelheeler,

Mike Ice,

Wayne Fielding,
carry all the gear and spares for those not so educated

Natalie Browning,
So Important - for everyone!

Brandon Caulfield,

Toby Shepherd,

Statton,

jeff,

blaine lukens,

kyle,

Clint Payment,

Daryl Bressan,
I work for the USDA Forest Service and have the pleasure of teaching employees basic snowmobile operation and saftey, I also include the BCA avalanche powerpoint into my classes. It is mandatory if we work in any potential avalanche areas being on snowshoes, back country skis or using snowmobiles we must have the basic avalanche gear with us at all times. Not tied or strapped to the machine but wearing it and in our winter multi day packs.
Everyone I meet being a winter skier or mountain climber I ask them about having the basic equipment as well as some kind of communicaton. I also had the pleasure to use a SPOT beacon for two years in it's test phase and was given one at the end of the testing I carry it with me just about everywhere I travel.

Gregg Goodland,
I work with Daryl in the Forest Service and I challenge anyone to equal or surpass our commitment to our employees safety. The other folks on this list are obviously rising to the occassion! Who will join us so that we can all go home to our loved ones?

aaron,

Darin Nachtrieb,
I have a spare beacon, probe, and shovel that I pack every trip out to the Mountains. I always seem to find someone that needs one, if not all those items.

Garrett Clark,
Ride safe, we all have loved ones! 2 avay classes

tyrel ryder,

Dan Brown,

Dallas,

Cory Doneen,

Mitch Helling,
I've refused to take out several people because of their lack of gear/knowledge. It was hard the first few times, but once you trigger a slide or watch a close call, you could care less if you piss someone off by not going with them/taking them out. A dead friend is something I want no part of. I've always tried to be morbid about avalanches to remain respectful of them and never take a snowpack for granted.

Storm Carl,
Thanks for helping raise awareness levels amongst backcountry users.

Bill Parker,

Ryan Cranston,

Vordaurn,
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Mitch,

Mike,

joe brozak,

Tom Schumacher,
Air bag, beacon, shovel, probe and wife! Last item protects me the most ;-)
Avl 1 training a must for me and fellow riders as well.

Duncan Lee,
Avalanche's are real and can be an everyday threat in the backcountry. Get the Gear, Get the knowledge, and Get some practice! We offer Avalanche Awareness training with our Lets Ride Adventures Clinics. We operate in Lake Tahoe, and Island Park I.D. there are also many free Avy Awareness classes out there, so check them out and stay safe!!!

Matt Bogatay,
Be smart, play smart! Cheap investment to save yours and or another persons life!

Randy Sugihara,
Ride with Avy gear or don't ride at all. We are each others rescuers in the back co. the more people prepared the more rescuers we have. Please take a course there are plenty available @ avalanche.org.

Paul Klomp,

Cody fleck,
It only makes sense

brad campbell,
ride for another day

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Filed under: Sledding Comments Off