"The key is to educate yourself on the types of avalanches and how to manage them." Here are 6 tips to stay safe in avalanche country.

(Wyoming) - In Wyoming there have been 4 backcountry avalanche-related deaths this season alone. Bob Comey, avalanche forecaster for the Bridger-Teton National Forest Avalanche Center, met with Pitchengine Communities to help us understand the different types of avalanches as well as offer tips to stay safe while recreating in backcountry areas. "There are all different avalanche scenarios. We don't know until it happens," Comey said. He explained that there are four types of avalanche problems: - *Wind slabs: *A wind slab is a the release of a cohesive layer of snow formed by the wind. - *Storm Slabs: *A storm slab is the release of a soft cohesive layer of new snow that breaks within the storm snow or on the old snow surface. - *Persistent Slabs:* A persistent slab is the release of a cohesive layer of soft to hard snow in the middle to upper snowpack, when the bond to an underlying persistent weak layer breaks. - *Deep Persistent Slabs: *Deep persistent slabs are when there is a release of a thick cohesive layer of hard snow, when the bond breaks between the slab and an underlying persistent weak layer, deep in the snowpack or near the ground. [image: Screen Shot 2016-02-03 at 1.36.04 PM.png] *Above photo courtesy of the GNFAC; an avalanche in Sunlight Basin / Pitchengine Communities* Comey went on, "The key is to educate yourself on these types of avalanches and how to manage them. You might have to back off and stay out of the avalanche terrain," he said. "There is plenty of good riding and skiing without exposing yourself to avalanche hazards. The whole goal is to come home.” Below are 6 tips you should think about the next time you choose to recreate in potential avalanche territory: 1. Before you go, *check the daily avalanche forecast* at 2. *What’s in your pack?* Make sure you have a shovel, probe and working beacon (get it checked before you go). Also, you need to be very practiced in using those tools and conducting an avalanche rescue. 3. If you are new to backcountry skiing or snowboarding, *go on a guided trip* or with an expert for your first time. 4. *Never go alone*. 5. *Manage your risk*: If the snow feels sketchy, it probably is. Get out of there, it isn’t worth it. 6. *Take an avalanche course.* Comey added "There is an additional class that focuses on avalanche rescue. But even after you take that you still need to practice, practice, practice,” said Comey. "Our patrollers who have been doing this for 20 years practice several times each month." *Feature Photo: Bob Comey, forecaster for the Bridger-Teton National Forest Avalanche Center / Pitchengine Communities* *[image: 0.png]* #buckrail #reboot #county10 #dally #county17 #springcity #oilcity #shortgo #news #headsup #fremontmotors