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Winter is a wonderful time to visit the backcountry! In the winter you'll have the most crowded locations to yourself. Overused areas are refreshed with a tinsel of snow and places you've visited a dozen times are exciting and new! However the snow of winter adds challenges and requires additional skills. You've got to know how to stay warm and dry both while moving quickly on sunny and stormy days….and once your activity level drops in camp. Navigation must be performed quickly in stormy conditions with limited visibility...when the trails and even trail signs are buried. The snow that adds so much freshness to the backcountry also adds the deadly danger of avalanches. Before you head into your winter wonderland you've got to know the season's snowpack, the weather you'll be facing and how to assess the risk of avalanches in the terrain you plan to cover and make the best route decisions to minimize those risks.


  • Introduction:
  • Basic Safety!
  • Snowy Myths
  • Knowledge is Light! (Scientiae perfusorius est)
  • Snowpack Evaluation and Transformations
  • Temperature:
  • Wind Loading:
  • Slope Angle/Microterrain:
  • Regional Differences
  • One other consideration:
  • Final Thoughts:

# WORDS: 2260
# PHOTOS: 14

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