Know before you go: SUU Outdoor’s avalanche clinic

Southern Utah University’s SUU Outdoors plans to host an avalanche clinic on Tuesday, Nov. 30 from 6-7 p.m. in the Sharwan Smith Student Center Church Auditorium. 

With a 30-year running average of 3.13 deaths per year due to avalanches, the natural phenomenon is a severe danger to those who like to seek adventure in the winter backcountry.

SUU Outdoors has teamed up with Know Before You Go and the Utah Avalanche Center to help bring awareness to the dangers of avalanches and how people can recreate safely in the backcountry of Utah.

SUU Outdoor’s Coordinator Levi Pendleton intends to be the instructor for the program. The event is open to all SUU students and community members interested in knowing more about the dangers of the snow.

Some tips ahead of time for avalanche safety are number one: get the gear. The main equipment for any backcountry exploration is a transceiver, probe and shovel to help dig someone out who may be caught in a bad situation.

Safety tip number two is to get the training. Clinics like the one SUU Outdoors intends to host are great opportunities to learn more about what it takes to be safer in the outdoors. Knowledge is power, especially when dealing with the awe-inspiring forces of mother nature.

Tip number three is to get the forecast. Websites like are great resources for understanding the possible dangers of the area that people are interested in. Know the weather conditions of any area ahead of time before making any trips to the backcountry. 

These are just a few of the many tips for planning and preparing for avalanche safety. More information can be found at the clinic on Nov 30. or on KBYG’s website. Answers to questions about the event itself can be answered on SUU Outdoors’ website.

It can truly be an amazing experience to explore the outdoors during winter, providing scenery that can only be seen during this time of the year. However, with this new pristine beauty comes hidden dangers that can happen in a second. Take the first step in preparation by learning all there is to know.

Story by Skyler Jones

Photo Provided by SUU Outdoors