The snow is starting to stack up throughout the Pacific Northwest and Canada as back-to-back storms the past week dumped nearly four feet on Mt. Baker, Whistler and Revelstoke. But ecstatic shredders charging to the hills, eager to break in that new season pass, splitboard or snowmobile should use caution. Avalanche danger has skyrocketed right alongside the growing snowpacks. Current avalanche forecasts in Canada and the Cascades all read the same: High.
Pro rider Jeremy Jones knows the temptation to punch tracks in dangerous early season conditions as well as anyone, but he's not worried about riding his favorite lines yet. The backcountry snowboarding pioneer uses these first decision making challenges of the winter as a real time training tool and inspires others to do the same by celebrating December as Avalanche Awareness month.
For the past three years, Jones and his snowboard company, Jones Snowboards, have highlighted December as the ideal time to refresh and practice avalanche and emergency first aid skills in preparation for making good decisions the rest of the winter.
Lock step with Jones' campaign, the High Fives non-profit foundation has just released an informative avalanche awareness video featuring Jones and several other pro shreds discussing their decision making processes and other important avalanche protocols. The video blends action shots with real talk about riding to live another day and is a part of High Fives' B.A.S.I.C.S. initiative, a program designed to help promote safety in winter sports by teaching the fundamentals of safe practices to the next-generation.
The video is dedicated to Lake Tahoe skier Ben Brackett who lost his life in an avalanche last winter. Donations made in honor of "Benny" helped fund the production of the video.