#KBYG

#KBYG

Adding to an already grim year of statistics, last week was the deadliest week of avalanches in the U.S. in more than a century. At least 15 people were killed in avalanches in six states between Jan. 31 – Feb. 6, including three in the San Juans alone.

To help folks better contend with this season’s treacherous and unprecedented conditions, Friends of the San Juans wants to equip them the best tool possible: knowledge.

The local avalanche awareness nonprofit recently released three short Youtube videos covering avi basics including: “Know Before You Go” (KBYG) principles; avalanche awareness and warning signs; backcountry etiquette; gear and training; and the all-important “Five Red Flags” (recent avalanches, signs of instability like thumping and whumping, recent snow, wind loading and rapid warming.)

The short and informative videos include appearances by FOSJ volunteers as well as Jeremy Dakan, of Pine Needle Mountaineering; Josh Kling, of FLC Outdoor Pursuits; Michael Ackerman, of the Silverton Avalanche School; and CAIC South San Juan Forecaster Chris Bilbrey.

In addition to the videos, FOSJ has teamed up with the Silverton Avalanche School and the Telluride Mountain Club/Peter Inglis Fund on “No Blackout Days,” a website for all things backcountry awareness. From learning materials to case studies, and information on where to sign up for regional avalanche courses, No Blackout Days is meant to be a one-stop shop for virtual backcountry awareness education.

Check it out at www.noblackoutdays.com. To see the FOSJ vids, go to: tinyurl.com/177jxniq

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