The mountains around Lake Tahoe hold some amazing snow for skiing and snowboarding. But that snow isn’t always the fluffy happy-sauce it appears to be. We encourage adventurous skiers who explore the hidden powder stashes at Alpine Meadows to carry an avalanche beacon, a probe and a shovel. But those things are just tools. If you don’t practice searching for and digging out buried targets you might not be as prepared as you hope to use them in an emergency.

In addition to offering certified avalanche training courses, we also are going to be setting up practice exercises for everyone to learn and practice avalanche search and rescue techniques. This was a fun spring event on the mountain, though we take avalanche safety pretty seriously here. Competitors were let loose on a field of prizes buried with avalanche beacons. Working individually and in teams, searchers unearthed prizes using their avalanche rescue skills.

Our patrollers scour the cornices to keep us safe, but everyone on the mountain has a role to play if our friends should depend on us for survival. Thank you for helping!

For up to date avalanche info check the Sierra Avalanche Center, and follow our updates by email, text or twitter.