Backcountry skiing and snowboarding are enjoyed by many Brundage Mountain visitors who like to experience fresh powder and awesome terrain outside the patrolled and controlled parts of the ski area. Brundage Mountain wants everyone to know that having the right equipment and training is essential to having a safe backcountry experience. Those epic powder lines are spectacular. They are also potentially dangerous. Know before you go. Be smart. Here’s how:
- Watch for hazards. The backcountry is littered with hazards, including the threat of avalanches. There are no ski patrol services, rescue may be at your own expense.
- Educate yourself before you leave the Brundage Ski Area boundary, you do so at your own risk.
- Ski and ride in groups. Bring a cell phone, avalanche beacon, shovel and probe at all times.
- Be conscious of daylight. Brundage does not ever patrol the backcountry. Getting lost sucks. Getting lost at night REALLY sucks.
- Have a meet-up plan. Pick a spot to reconvene if your group splits up.
- Wear a helmet.
- Respect your ability level.
- Pay attention to the signs; they’re there for you.
- Recognize Red Flags
- Identify Avalanche Terrain
- Travel Safely in the Backcountry
- Perform a Rescue
Before entering the backcountry, you should practice using your beacon and get familiar with the techniques of using one for finding a victim. The time to learn is not when your buddy is buried. You should also be certain that others in your party know how to use their beacons; your life could be in their hands.
In order to help you practice these skills, Brundage Mountain has installed a Backcountry Access Beacon Training Park.
BTPs are training systems created to make it easier for recreationists and pros to practice with their transceivers.
You can find the Brundage Mountain Beacon Training Park on the west side of the main lodge.
It features four permanently buried transmitters wired to a central control panel. The control panel is bright yellow and located on the tan building you see here.
To change the practice scenario, just flick the on/off switches on the control panel.
Instead of digging holes and reburying beacons all day, you spend your valuable time actually practicing with your transceiver.
It is highly recommended that anyone traveling in the backcountry take an avalanche training course.
The Payette Avalanche Center and Friends of the Payette Avalanche Center offer avalanche awareness courses regularly. Please contact the Payette Avalanche Center for more information.
Payette Powder Guides also offers Avalanche Awareness courses throughout the winter months. You can view the schedule of classes here.
(Some information provided by Backcountry Access and Avalanche.org)
More Important Tips:
Check the current weather in McCall Idaho for up to date snow depths and storm totals.
As always, get familiar with the Brundage Mountain safety code for in bounds skiing and after-hours mountain access.