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Backcountry Skiing, Snowshoeing and Climbing: Assessing Avalanche Terrain

It’s avalanche season again, which means it’s high time to refresh your snow-slide smarts if you’re a backcountry skier, snowboarder, climber, or snowmobiler. We’ve published a general guide to avalanche safety here at the Mountain House blog, which we recommend reading for more insight into what causes an avalanche and what to do if you get caught in one, among other topics. Today, we’re tightening the focus a bit and presenting a basic guide to assessing avalanche terrain as you travel. The considerations we’re covering below can help you hone your “avalanche eyeballs,” as Bruce Tremper, Director of the Forest … Continue reading

Hunting Season Safety

Fall means crunchy leaves underfoot, crisp sunny days, snow dustings on the mountain ridges, waterfowl on the high-flying wing – and, of course, hunting season. It’s an exciting time of year for those looking to stock up on some venison or elk backstrap; it’s also when a lot of hikers get out into the woods and mountains to take advantage of the often-perfect weather and ambience. Both hunters and non-hunters have a responsibility to practice safe hunting season etiquette to avoid tragic accidents. In this blog post, we’ll run through some of the basics, and also point you to solid … Continue reading

Spring Backcountry Safety

It was a long, gnarly winter in many parts of the country, but spring is most definitely here and undoubtedly singing a very sweet siren song to any and all outdoors-folks. It’s an exciting time to get into the backcountry, whether on skis or snowshoes or along hiking trails that have thawed out. The days are lengthening, the angle of the Sun is increasing for warmer weather, and the intoxicating phenological signs of the season are unfolding: north-bound flocks of waterfowl, melodious songbirds in the budding thickets, frog choruses from the marshes and hollows, wildflowers starting to strut their stuff … Continue reading

River Safety Tips: How to Cross a River

Crossing rivers is often the riskiest element of a typical hiking or backpacking trek. Even a midsized stream has the power to potentially knock you off your feet. River crossings must be undertaken with an abundance of caution and sharp-eyed study, and often the correct decision is not to cross at all. We know a lot of your Mountain House lovers out there are avid hikers and backpackers who are likely to run into at least a modest-intensity river crossing on occasion, so we thought we’d run a refresher article on river safety tips! The First Step in River Safety: … Continue reading

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