Forest Service Avalanche and Safety Class field trip at Big Mountain. What a day. First of all, it was sunny, beautiful and almost 40 degrees on the mountain - perfect!
surface hoar , lovely ice crystals that form overnight and are a leading cause in approximately 85% of all avalanches. We snow shoed out and dug ice pits so that we could analyze the different layers of snow and ice pack, like avalanche experts do when determining the safety of an area. In addition, there is a new beacon field at Big Mountain where they allow kids some hands-on experience in avalanche rescue. When skiers are planning on backcountry adventures, they are advised to wear a beacon, so that they can be located if they are in a slide. The kids were able to use beacons to find the location of buried transmitters. They then used probe poles to determine the exact location of their "victim" (in this case a buried gunny sack full of saw dust and the transmitter). The view of the Flathead Valley was breathtaking from where we were. Don't you wish you could have been there?