Avalanche risk is real for backcountry skiers, snowboarders

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(Host) Last week’s blizzard has buckled roofs and clogged sidewalks. It’s also posed a danger for backcountry skiers and snowboarders.

An avalanche warning was posted last week for the high country of Vermont. Skier David Aronson wants people to know that the risk is real. The Northfield resident was backcountry skiing near Smugglers Notch on Wednesday when one of his group triggered an avalanche.

(Aranson) “A couple of us were standing off to the side and another skier was standing down below him. And what happened was, he heard a loud crack, basically like a gunshot. And we just watched the whole pitch that he was standing on peel away and start moving, relatively fast. All the snow down at the surface lawyer is basically working like ball bearings. And that just went. And fortunately the skier that was standing below has a very strong understanding of avalanches and what to do in those situations. So he pretty much hightailed it out of there.”

(Host) Aronson said his skiing partner triggered a second avalanche but hung onto a tree and was not swept away.

He says Vermont is usually a very safe place for backcountry skiing and boarding because under normal conditions there’s very little avalanche danger.

He said that skiers going into the back country now need to be aware of the risk, and take precautions. That includes telling people where you’re going, carrying a shovel, a rescue beacon and an avalanche probe.

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