5 Outdoor Myths

Toads give you warts. Lightening never strikes twice.  Avalanches strike without warning. Happy April Fool’s Day everyone! We’ve all heard them before, but sometimes it’s a little difficult to separate fact from fiction. I thought I’d start the month debunking a few enduring – not necessarily endearing – outdoor myths. Myth One: Toads give you warts. Fact: Of course […]

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Avalanche Survival

A new study just released suggests that survival times for people buried in avalanches in Canada is significantly lower than those from Switzerland. One of the main reasons is the heavier snow, particularly in maritime-influenced regions. Although this study focused on data from Canada, the maritime influence on snowpacks in the North Shore Mountains above Vancouver […]

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Introductory Avalanche Education

Spring may officially be less than two weeks away, but that doesn’t mean it’s time to forget all about backcountry safety – if anything it becomes even more critical as more people head out to enjoy moderating temperatures and increased daylight hours. One of the biggest safety concerns for backcountry skiers is avalanches. Like any […]

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Mountain Weather

“If you don’t like the weather, wait five minutes.” The reverse is also true. There was a light breeze blowing when I left home at 7 a.m. on Saturday for the field portion of an introductory avalanche course. By the time we reached our destination an hour and a half later, the wind was gusty […]

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Kayak Touring and Avalanches

You might be reading the title of this post and wondering how the subjects relate to each other. They’re both part of an ongoing quest for outdoor adventure and knowledge. On Monday, we went to an evening talk on how to get started in kayak touring. Although we have two folding Klepper kayaks – one […]

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Raising Avalanche Awareness

Two weeks ago this past Saturday, my husband lost a friend in an avalanche. We’d talked with him that morning. He skied one valley; we went a different direction. As we drove down the road after a day spent touring and reviewing steps for digging a snow pit – ironically I had signed up for […]

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Why You Should Care About Frost

It’s not just that Jack Frost is nipping on your nose, frost can be a deadly factor in the backcountry. Frost Facts Frost is simply winter’s dew. Icy crystals form on exposed surfaces when the air temperature drops below freezing and water vapor in the air condenses. Hoar frost is made up of large ice […]

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The Snow Man

It’s snowing outside my window and it’s all I can do to keep my gaze on the computer screen and get my work done. It’s not just snow, but those big, fat perfect snowflakes. There’s something magic about snow, something that goes beyond the scientific explanation of super-cooled droplets of water freezing to form hexagonal, […]

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Avalanche Rescue Dogs

Doggone they’re good! Just watched Explore.com’s Adrenaline Junkie series about avalanches and the dogs were stars. I’ve never had the misfortune of being trapped in a real avalanche, but I have met a few stellar avalanche rescue dogs over the years. Foster was a 1-½ year-old trainee in the two-year training and certification process required […]

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