Remaining safe in the back-country

By, 8 Feb '17 at 09:58

Winter Sports gap years have never been so popular – with an increasing number of advanced skiers and snowboarders shunning the piste in favour of fresh tracks on ‘unreachable’ peaks.

Remaining safe in the back-country

The search for the freshest powder is on – and experienced riders tell us, the deeper the better! Back country skiing and snowboarding has surged in popularity, and it is not unknown to see groups hiking from the top of the chairlift to an untouched ridge.

The surge in popularity could be due to the epic footage of free-riders seen on every TV screen from the European Alps to the heart of the Canadian Rockies. However, the recent free-ride avalanche deaths of Matilda Rapaport and Estelle Balet – both competitors in last years Free-ride World Tour, gives us a sharp reminder that free-riding is as dangerous as it can get out there!

There is plenty of safety equipment to help keep you alive, in the last month there has been some incredible viral footage of an extremely lucky snowboarder who survived an avalanche in Whistler, thanks to an air bag backpack he received as a gift just weeks earlier.

As a tour operator, Winter Sports Company, encourage everyone on their long-term programs to take an avalanche skills training course to prepare them, should the worst happen.

Course Director and founder of Winter Sports Company, Steve La Borde, says:
“It is incredibly important for our guests to understand the nature of snow and the danger of avalanche. Many of our customers are with us for the entire season, and at all the resorts we use, there is the option to hike to back country areas. We are an advanced training company, and all our guests are eager to experience unbeatable fresh tracks and the deepest powder possible. For this reason, we team up with Colwest to run avalanche skills training at least twice a season.”

Most avalanches that cause injury and bury people are triggered by the victim, or by a member of the same party. Back-country enthusiasts can help lower the risk of triggering an avalanche by taking a 2-day Avalanche Skills Training course as part of their holiday. Learn how to recognise avalanche terrain, what equipment will help you in an avalanche and how to search for victims. These are skills to save lives.

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