The mountains don’t discriminate and the numbers don’t lie. Check your head when it comes to avalanche safety.
Number of avalanche rescue safety items recommended by the American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education (AIARE) for travel in the backcountry: metal shovel, transceiver beacon, a 206cm or longer probe and the Avalanche rescue response checklist (found inside the back cover of the AIARE field book). Learn more at avtraining.org.
Avalanche fatalities recorded in Colorado since 1951. That’s the most in the United States followed by Alaska (150), Washington (119), Utah (116) and Montana (111). Twelve other states with recorded fatalities all have less than 100 deaths.
Number of people caught in avalanches in Colorado for the 2015-2016 season. Of those 24, five were buried and survived and five died.
Number of vertical zones where avalanche forecasts are grouped: below treeline, at treeline and above treeline.These zones are used by forecasters because they each have unique impacts on the condition of the snow and the snow pack.
Number of ratings on the North American Danger Scale for avalanche forecasts: No Rating; 1 Low; 2 Moderate; 3 Considerable; 4 High; 5 Extreme. These ratings are determined by taking into account the likelihood of naturally occurring slides, human-triggered slides and the potential size of the avalanches. For more information you can study the chart at avalanche.state.co.us/forecasts/help/avalanche-danger.
Number of ways to describe the different types of avalanche conditions known as Avalanche Problems. Can you name them all? If not, it’s time to take an avalanche safety course. (Answers below.)
Number of avalanche forecast regions in Colorado: Steamboat and Flat Tops, Front Range, Vail and Summit County, Sawatch, Aspen, Gunnison, Grand Mesa, North San Juan, South San Juan, and Sangre de Cristo. Get Twitter updates for yours at avalanche.state.co.us/forecasts/help/social-media.
Scan to find your backcountry avalanche zone forecast Twitter feed.
Number of fatalities in Colorado attributed to avalanches in the 2015-2016 season. This is the continuation of a pretty good trend—two under the average. Going backwards, the number of fatalities each season prior has been three, eight, 11, seven, seven, and eight for the 2009-2010 season. Let’s see if we can keep the numbers down again this season.
Total number of points scored by the highest scoring hockey player for the Colorado Avalanche, Canadian Joe Sakic.
Percentage of survival probability when buried for 15 minutes (without trauma issues). By 35 minutes the survival probability drops to only 30 percent according to a 2002 study published on avalanche.org.
Percentage of battery level at which the website snowbrains.com recommends users should replace the alkaline batteries in their avalanche trancievers. They also recommend you check with the manufacturer recommendation for your specific device. But don’t throw those batteries away, 60 percent is still great for your headlamp!