Sierra Avalanche Center wouldn’t exist without generous support (Opinion)

Dave Reichel / Guest column

By 7 a.m. on winter mornings, the Sierra Avalanche Center publishes the avalanche forecast for the day. Providing the avalanche danger level as well as the Avalanche Problem of the Day, this is critical information for anyone traveling in the backcountry.

Often a draft of the forecast is started the afternoon before and then updated early in the morning with the benefit of that day’s weather forecast and any late arriving snow or avalanche observations. The snow and avalanche data is built on professional observations from Sierra Avalanche Center field staff, and augmented with the observations, photos and videos shared to the Sierra Avalanche Center website by the public.

The forecast area extends roughly 90 miles from Yuba Pass in the north all the way to Bear Valley in the south, so it is extremely helpful to receive these observations from the public. The Sierra Avalanche Center posts all the observations submitted to our website and shares many of them through social media channels. 

The Sierra Avalanche Center would not exist without community support. The employees at Northstar, Heavenly, and Kirkwood have consistently directed significant support to the Sierra Avalanche Center through their donation of lift tickets via Vail Resorts EpicPromise.

Northstar, Heavenly, and Kirkwood resorts have been the avalanche center’s largest business supporter for multiple years. This money goes back into supporting the Sierra Avalanche Center field staff, paying for development and maintenance of our website, and our ongoing efforts to increase avalanche awareness in our community. 

The Sierra Avalanche Center staff and volunteer board extend our sincere thanks to Northstar, Heavenly, Kirkwood and the Vail Resorts EpicPromise Team for their continued support. 

Dave Reichel is executive director of Sierra Avalanche Center.

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