Deep Enough To Ski Means Deep Enough To Slide
Select mountain regions across North America have just enough snow at higher elevations to entice early birds to attempt a few turns. Planning a tour in early November? We urge you to heed Sawtooth Avalanche Center forecaster Ethan Davis’s post from October 29th: “If the snow is deep enough to play in, it’s deep enough to think about avalanches.”
It’s also important to understand that many avalanche centers have yet to begin their seasonal forecasting operations. If they are forecasting, they’re likely receiving less data this early in the season. As a result, “You’ll need to make your own observations and assess conditions as part of your decision-making process,” said Colin Garritty on Avalanche Canada’s recent blog post.
If you’re venturing out, make sure you properly check all your equipment, ease into the terrain gradually, and we recommend a Check it Out or Keep it Mellow mindset from Colin Zacharias’s Terrain Tip #4. One final caution, although it might be next to impossible with a shallow early-season snowpack, try to avoid buried obstacles like rocks and fallen trees. Travel safely—the best turns are yet to come.
Through backcountry skiing, Paul Rogers has found incredible happiness, lasting friendships, and the opportunity to traverse the snowscape across Europe and North America. He founded Powder Cloud to help others safely find the same.