Avalanche Awareness


Megan Koster, Staff Editor

On March 1st, Alex McLain came to Mr. Reising’s environmental science class to give a presentation about avalanche awareness.

For the first part of the class, McLain gave a brief presentation on how avalanches get triggered and what to do during a rescue. Afterwards, he had students go outside to the football field to dig snow pits. Once students dug the pits, they used their saws and cut shovel-sized blocks of snow. Then, alongside that blocks, they cut a pizza-sized sliver of snow. They checked if the snow was avalanche worthy by placing the shovel on the block and pounding the shovel 10 times. If snow didn’t come out, the area was safe to walk on. However, if blocks of snow would come out, that would be considered an avalanche area. Some students participated in an additional activity using a snow beacon to see what it would be like to find victims who were caught in an avalanche.

Overall, the class was great for students because it gave them better sense of when to be aware of avalanches. According to McLain,  “We all want to go outside and have fun in the snow, but we never see the consequences of what could happen.”

For those who missed this opportunity, there will be an avalanche awareness class from 12:30 to 4 pm in the Seward Community Library on March 4th.   For more information, contact Alex McLain at (907)288-7710 or C(907)362-3720; email: amclain@fs.fed.us.