2013/2014 Season Summary


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May 10, 2014 7:30 am by Simon Trautman

Have a great summer everyone and thanks for your support!

The 2013-2014 season was marked by new staff, terrible early season snow conditions, and sustained snowfall in February leading to an impressive and extremely dangerous avalanche cycle. The year could not have been more different than the last.

Season Highlights:

• There were two serious avalanche accidents in the advisory area. A snowboarder was caught and seriously injured in the Bald Mountain Sidecountry and a snowmobiler was killed when a large avalanche buried a party of four in the Smoky Mountains.

• We issued our first snow and avalanche announcement on November 19. Daily Advisories began on December 26 and continued through April 13th. In total, we produced 118 mountain weather and avalanche advisories.

• The Sawtooth and Smoky Mountains received significant snowfall 19 of 28 days in February.

• Eric purchased no less than 3 pairs of new skis…

• Scott has not purchased a pair of skis in 15 years…

• We issued 8 avalanche warnings and had 14 days with HIGH avalanche danger… 5 and 10 (respectively) were issued in February.

• We used skis 60% of the time, snowmobiles 30%, and hiked or used binoculars from the highway 10%.

• We spent 120 days in the field and local professional groups contributed ~200 observations.

• Staff gave over 30 interviews to local, regional, and national news organizations.

• Volunteers' worked over 400 hours on Avalanche Center operations and fundraising events.

• We redesigned our homepage, advisory format, and weather products.

• Web site traffic increased 20% compared to last year.

• Our advisory received over 160,000 views via the web, email subscription, and recorded hotline. Advisories were accessed an average of 1336 times each day - a 4% jump over last season.

• Public outreach continues to be very successful through the local newspaper, morning radio spots, and social media. Our "Likes" on Facebook increased from 1268 to 1529, with over 50,000 reads this season.

• Avalanche Center staff gave 27 educational presentations (evenly split between recreational and professional audiences). All told we presented to over 1000 individuals this season.

• The US Forest Service increased its annual funding by 10%.

• The Friends of the Avalanche Center provided funding for 2 of 3 staff positions, discretionary spending, and two new snowmachines. Thanks Friends, we couldn't do it without you!!!

General Information

We will be out of the office until next October, but will monitor the info@sawtoothavalanche.com email through out the summer.