Presenter: Dale Atkins | MRA Webinar Series |
While most people think of avalanches as a winter danger, late spring and summer avalanches kill about 1 in 10 of all avalanche victims, and these accidents do not all happen on the big glacier-covered peaks of Alaska and Washington. Having awareness of wet snow instabilities is important for mountain rescuers to stay safe and work efficiently. This is especially important as nearly all summertime avalanche SAR operations are performed by mountain rescuers. This presentation will address the issues of wet snow and wet-snow avalanches as they pertain to mountain rescuers. Sub-topics will include the avalanche rescue problem (who gets into trouble and where); what rescuers should look for when judging the danger, and what rescuers can do to mitigate their risk.
Dale Atkins is a longtime member of Alpine Rescue Team of Evergreen, Colorado. He worked as an avalanche forecaster and researcher for the state of Colorado, and was a long-time professional ski patroller too. Dale is also a past president of the American Avalanche Association and was the long-time MRA representative to ICAR. His daytime job is for RECCO AB, which is an avalanche rescue system used by many mountain rescue and ski patrols around the world.