Backcountry Essentials

Backcountry
Every member of your group needs to be wearing a transceiver and have knowledge on how to use it. Additionally, all members must carry an avalanche probe, and a shovel. When you've got the basics covered, the additional equipment list gets a little fun. If you leave the ski area boundary into the backcountry or re-enter the ski area from the backcountry, you must have all of the following requirements to maintain your ski area privileges:

BACKCOUNTRY REQUIREMENTS

  • Avalanche transceiver and demonstrated ability to use it
  • A partner in the backcountry
  • Shovel
  • Probe
  • Knowledge of the terrain and understand your backcountry ability 
  • Avalanche knowledge and local conditions

THINGS YOU SHOULD BE AWARE OF

  • Understand this winter's snowpack layers
  • Knowledge of recent snowfall and type of snow
  • Know the current Whistler backcountry Avalanche Advisory rating
  • Understand today's weather conditions including snowfall, temperature & visibility
  • Never travel alone

PLAN YOUR TRIP THOROUGHLY

Be prepared to cope with emergencies due to fatigue, equipment failures, weather and avalanches.
  • Evaluate each member's capacity and ability
  • Check the personal equipment of the party
  • Carry a mobile phone with full battery charge
  • Keep hydrated and nourished throughout the day
  • Understand supply levels of liquid and food for the group
  • Pace the travel speed of the party so that no one becomes exhausted
  • Keep the party together but not too close in avalanche terrain
  • The leader should be experienced in route selection
  • Ensure that there are sufficient tools in the group to repair broken skis, skins and bindings
  • The leader must be capable of organizing a backcountry avalanche rescue including applying first aid and keeping survivors alive until rescuers arrive
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