Children ages 5 to 21
Youth/Adolescents only (14 - 19 years)
Youth avalanche education is the cornerstone of the Friends of CAIC's mission. Industry media increasingly features backcountry use, and portrays it as the "new frontier" for skiers and snowboarders. As young recreationists are the demographic most susceptible to these renderings and are increasingly venturing into the uncontrolled backcountry, it is imperative that we provide them with the awareness and proper tools to negotiate lurking avalanche dangers. Know Before You Go is our new avalanche education program, which launched in 2015/2016, and has been built in collaboration with the Utah Avalanche Center. This program has 3 parts: an 18 minute video, a slide show, and a Q&A session, all led by a local avalanche professional. Viewers see the destructive power of avalanches, how people get themselves into dangerous situations, and the basics of how to avoid them, all through the eyes of avalanche professionals, pro athletes, accident victims and rescuers, and their peers.
Know Before You Go is one curriculum that can be taught anywhere in Colorado by a trained snow safety expert.
Public Safety, Disaster Services
Children ages 5 to 21
Since 1950 avalanches have killed more people in Colorado than any other natural hazard, and in the United States, Colorado accounts for one-third of all avalanche deaths. The Colorado Avalanche Warning Center began issuing public avalanche forecasts in 1973 as part of a research program in the USDA-Forest Service Rocky Mountain Research Station. The program moved out of the federal government and into the Colorado state government, becoming part of the Department of Natural Resources in 1983.
While it is impossible to ascertain how many avalanche-related injuries and deaths are avoided due to our services, Friends of CAIC and CAIC work diligently to ensure that our services are reaching our target audiences and having maximum impact.
Additionally, from 1980-1990 avalanche deaths in Colorado averaged 5.3 per year. From 2000-2010, when backcountry recreation numbers exploded and more people were recreating beyond ski area boundaries, they averaged 5.2 per year. The program works and is saving lives.