Avalanche Hotline Info for Backcountry Skiing

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This post by WildSnow.com blogger  

Ever wondered when the digital age would confuse more than it helps?

Today I’m experiencing that exact situation. We’ve always wanted a current and accurate directory of avalanche hot lines and websites to exist on WildSnow.com, so I got started with construction today. Information template was my list of hotlines that existed here in the right sidebar, but to flesh it out I did some crazy web browsing, landing on a ton of “avalanche hotline” lists.

The lists I found have a smattering of accurate info for backcountry skiing (some more, some less). Sadly, many are larded with so many wrong numbers and bad links they make a mockery of our so called “information age.” Yeah, it’s hard to keep all the info on a website up to date, but you’d think something like avalanche safety numbers and hyperlinks would be maintained for accuracy, or done as a link to a list somewhere else with a better chance of staying current. But noooooo.

So, without further adieu, we introduce WildSnow.com’s attempt at maintaining an accurate list of avalanche hotlines and websites. To that end, if you feel so inclined please check it out and leave feedback/corrections as comments on this blogpost. In return, we’ll try to keep the list as updated as humanly possible, and even date it with a “last updated” stamp (what a concept, eh?).

Beyond that, we suggest (but will be amazed if it happens), that those websites who don’t have the wherewithal to keep their avalanche resource lists up-to-date would simply remove them from the web.

Our avalanche hotline directory is here, or get to it via the menu above.

Thanks everyone.

Comments

25 Responses to “Avalanche Hotline Info for Backcountry Skiing”

  1. Evan November 8th, 2008 3:53 pm

    Thanks for putting together this list! Just a couple of clarifications about the SW Montana areas to help it out:

    1) Typo: It’s Bozeman, not Boseman
    2) If you are putting up RSS links, the GNFAC has a feed too:
    http://mtavalanche.com/rss/advisory.xml
    3) I’ve never heard of that site you linked to for the West Yellowstone area, but the GNFAC covers West in it’s advisories too.

    Cheers!

  2. Lou November 8th, 2008 4:07 pm

    Thanks Evan, corrections made. yeah, that West Yellowstone site looks like it might be a hangnail, but I’ll leave it up a few more weeks and see if anything happens with it. Perhaps someone will see this and chime in, and let me know they’ve got the toenail clippers out for some grooming (grin).

  3. Stephen November 8th, 2008 4:38 pm

    Thanks for putting this list together Lou. I just want to add that the number to call for the Canadian Avalanche Centre’s avalanche bulletins (for a number of different regions in Alberta and BC) is 1-800-667-1105.

  4. Lou November 8th, 2008 4:47 pm

    Thanks Stephen, I added that. If it pleases the WildSnowers we’ll keep this list up to date or we’ll delete it, no in between. I’m pretty disgusted with what I found out there in terms of current info, don’t want to be a me-too when it comes to that!

  5. Rando Swede November 8th, 2008 8:14 pm

    Lou-

    You can also reference http://www.avalanche.org of the Westwide Avalanche Network for your info. It also links to the American Avalanche Association and the USFS National Avalanche Center.

    In SW MT, West Yellowstone is definitely part of the advisory area for the Gallatin NF Avalanche Center.

    All the best.

  6. Lou November 8th, 2008 8:42 pm

    Thanks Sweed, I’ve been using that and linked to it at bottom of info page. It was very helpful.

  7. Peter Banta November 10th, 2008 8:36 am

    Not sure if we have things linked here you may not (or vice-versa). There is a pretty good list of hotlines/sites here

    But, sadly, as you observed, many have no site at all… ? ;(

    We also have a great list of avy courses for this season here…and listed in the Events area. If anyone sees errors or omissions, please let us know. Anyone can sign up and submit events, links and/or media directly.

    Not trying to promote, just inform.

    Thanks,

    Peter Banta
    Webmaster
    Backcountry Magazine.com

  8. Jayson November 11th, 2008 9:15 pm

    Lou,

    Any chance you could link the Crested Butte hotline to the CB Avy Center, since you posted our hotline number. The CAIC basically cuts and pastes our forecast into the Gunnison Zone forecast for themselves every morning anyways. Just thought I’d help ya be more accurate….thanks…..

    Jayson

  9. Lou November 12th, 2008 6:22 am

    Sure Jayson, doing it right now.

  10. Lou November 22nd, 2008 8:30 am

    Called a few numbers on our list today as that’s the only way to really verify they work. Also added Wow’s Wasatch site and Matt Kinney’s AK site.

  11. Lou November 30th, 2008 7:19 am

    Just updated again today, as Colorado changed a bunch of their links.

  12. doug abromeit January 29th, 2009 8:28 pm

    Hey Lou….hi…..www.fsavalanche.org is an online avalanche awareness text w/lots of good info, photos and videos featuring people like Jim Conway, Karl Birkeland, Bruce Tremper and Todd Jones. It has information germane to virtually all interests and levels including a section w/some of the latest technical papers. Check it out and feel free to link to it if you want to. Abromeit

  13. Randonnee January 29th, 2009 10:11 pm

    Excellent, Doug! Accurate information on that website:

    “Wearing an avalanche beacon only improves your chances if you are buried; it does not guarantee your survival. It is much better to avoid burial then to rely upon rescue.”

    and:

    “About one third of avalanche victims die from trauma and most victims that are completely buried do not survive.”

    Compared to the usual marketing:

    “Snow Safety Products

    …Beacons
    Avalanche Shovels
    Avalanche Probes”

    Safety…hardly. Failure and desperation needs these.

    FS National Avalanche Center Avalanche Awareness accurate educational materials are of great value.

    Thank you.

    Rob Mullins

  14. Lou January 30th, 2009 7:47 am

    Doug, I added that website to our avy resources and hotlines page (see nav menu at top of page). Thanks for the suggestion.

    If you have any involvement, you might want to either finish, delete or hide the pages under construction. They diminish the perceived quality and import of the site. But I’d hope you’d finish the “Avalanche Ecology” section, as I’ve always wanted to see something that documented how many millions of trees avalanches take out every winter, so people would perhaps get a little less freaked out when someone suggests cutting a few trees for trail maintenance in the backcountry.

  15. Mark December 17th, 2009 9:30 pm

    Just checked Crested Butte’s hotline. Nice amount of current weather plus forecast. Snowpack and instability problems described thoroughly. Sounds like much of CO could be in for a tough winter of slides.

  16. Mark December 17th, 2009 9:48 pm

    Northern Idaho phone number mostly just lists early season stuff, so try their web address: fs.usda.gov/goto/ipnf/ac

  17. Mark W December 21st, 2009 11:45 am

    Kachina Peaks link goes to http://www.cmc.org/recreation/recreation_safety_eightsteps.aspx, or Colorado Mountain Club avy tips.

  18. Mark W December 21st, 2009 11:47 am

    Kinney’s Thompson pass link is now http://www.thompsonpass.com.

  19. Mark W December 21st, 2009 11:50 am

    http://www.cnfaic.org/ has slideshow of many current slides and problem conditions. Eyecatching and sobering too.

  20. Lou December 21st, 2009 12:22 pm

    Mark, thanks for those updates! I’ll edit today! Good job.

  21. Bill E. Mitchell December 12th, 2010 1:10 pm

    For statewide avalanche information, bulletins, and educational opportunities in Alaska you can link to the Alaska Avalanche Information Center at http://www.alaskasnow.org. They provide links to all of the forecast centers in the state, as well as all of the AIARE and AAA classes offered statewide.

    Be safe, and live to ride another day!

  22. Lou Dawson February 16th, 2013 8:17 am

    Been updating our avalanche hotlines page — I try to keep it the most complete and up-to-date you can find anywhere. Frustrating how the avalanche safety links rot so fast, but keeps me on my toes. Suggestions welcome. Lou

  23. Jernej February 17th, 2013 6:47 am

    You have a broken links to Idaho Payette & Panhandle

    Europe in general: http://www.avalanches.org/

    Since some links there are old/wrong/indirect, more accurate below:

    Norway: http://www.varsom.no/Snoskred/

    Sweden: http://snorapporten.se/lavinrisk

    Iceland: http://en.vedur.is/

    Austria: http://www.lawine.at/

    also New Zealand: http://www.avalanche.net.nz/

  24. Lou Dawson February 17th, 2013 7:58 am

    Jernej, thanks for the help.

    We’ll fix some of those.

    Everyone should know that some of the more generic links are there because some of the websites appear to be managed poorly and are constantly changing their link structure without doing redirects. Instead of playing whack-a-mole with those guys, we just do links that are less likely to depreciate. If they want to do more stable links and we see evidence of that, we’ll get more specific.

  25. Jernej February 18th, 2013 4:34 am

    This post kind of pushed me to come up with a list of my own (it ties to my research, don’t ask how). I went slightly wider and tried to find links to all AWS around the world, although US and Europe make up for most of them anyway. Feel free to copy something if it helps in anyway…

    http://www.dot.alter.si/2013/02/18/world-avalanche-warning-services/

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Welcome to Louis (Lou) Dawson's backcountry skiing information opinion website and e magazine. Lou's passion for the past 45 years has been alpinism, climbing, mountaineering and skiing -- along with all manner of outdoor recreation. He has authored numerous books and articles about backcountry skiing and is well known as the first person to ski down all 54 of Colorado's 14,000-foot peaks, otherwise known as the Fourteeners! Books and free back country news and information here, and tons of Randonnee rando telemark info.

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