Avalanche Safety Course
Avy Safety 101
At a recent avalanche safety course in Tahoe City, Calif., a group of female pro skiers gathered to refresh its skills and knowledge of backcountry safety before the winter comes.
Lel Tone -- a Squaw Valley ski patroller, Alaskan heli ski guide and instructor with the American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education -- taught the course.
Avalanche education has changed over the past decade to focus more on teaching people to recognize the human factors that play into the decision-making process along with the snow conditions, terrain and more.
Skier Amie Engerbretson practices using a checklist to walk through the steps of an avalanche rescue.
Red Means No Go
A checklist helps backcountry skiers and snowboarders make smart decisions as to whether they're heading into safe terrain.
Pro skier Elyse Saugstad, who survived a deadly avalanche last winter, practices using her beacon, shovel and probe in a rescue scenario.
Pro skier Ingrid Backstrom works with instructor Lel Tone to identify the search directions on her avalanche transceiver.
Michelle Parker, with help from Lel Tone, practices probing for a buried victim during a pretend rescue scenario.
Practice Makes Perfect
Ingrid Backstrom and Jackie Paaso rehearse the steps of an avalanche rescue.
Sherry McConkey, Michelle Parker and Ingrid Backstrom zone in on a buried signal during a practice rescue.
Amie Engerbretson, Sherry McConkey and Michelle Parker practice using a BCA airbag backpack.