Winter's Finally Here! Know Before You Go

National Ski Patrol & Utah Avalanche Center Help You Stay Safe on the Slopes

Mother Nature has finally brought snow to much of the Western mountain regions, and as we celebrate the bounty, it is as critical as ever to be aware of the dangers that exist. The National Ski Patrol would like to remind everyone to be as safe as possible while skiing and snowboarding, and to Know Before You Go.

Developed by the Utah Avalanche Center (UAC), the NSP is also presenting the Know Before You Go program, a free 50-minute program outlining the dangers of avalanches and what to look for, before you go out on to a slope that could slide.

The dangers of avalanches are becoming more prominent as more snow enthusiasts are buried and/or killed by avalanches in backcountry terrain, whether that terrain is accessed from a gate at the ski area or a trailhead. Recent events serve as a cruel reminder that avalanches can occur in unexpected places, even on in-bounds terrain, and the consequences can be tragic.

The Know Before You Go program includes:

  1. A 15-minute, narrated video showing avalanches, people triggering avalanches and the destructive power of avalanches.
  2. A local avalanche professional telling their story about close calls or accidents they have had as they learned about avalanches.
  3. A 15-minute PowerPoint presentation about the basics of how to recognize avalanche terrain, recognize obvious signs of instability, safe travel practices, the basics of avalanche rescue equipment and self-rescue procedures, and where to obtain information about current avalanche conditions.

Please log onto to access the program and its individual parts.

The NSP wishes everyone a safe and fun winter season


National Ski Patrol:

Know Before You Go program:

Utah Avalanche Center:

Online press release:

About National Ski Patrol

The National Ski Patrol is a federally-chartered nonprofit membership association dedicated to serving the public and the mountain recreation industry. For 74 years, the NSP has been at the forefront of safety and emergency care education programs. The association's 28,000 members represent 98 percent of the nation's patrollers. For more information, log onto