Interest Peaking In Avalanche Awareness - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Interest Peaking In Avalanche Awareness

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Lake Tahoe was hit with a lot of snow within the last week.

While skiers and snowboarders are loving all the fresh powder, others are concerned about safety.

Tahoe has some prime avalanche terrain, even at some of the resorts, but experts say the real danger is while back country skiing.

"Being able to at least recognize that this is an avalanche path and go around it, and avoid it. That's what we're trying to do," says Dick Penniman, an avalanche specialist.

Penniman has been teaching safety classes for years. His courses teach skiers how to notice avalanche activity, and respond if one occurs.

"Taking this course more just to get the awareness of what you're getting into out there, and make it safe," says Bradley Richardson, who is taking the class.

Penniman says there are several elements skiers need to know before hitting terrain for the first time.

"Don't go in the back country with just your equipment thinking you're good enough to beat avalanches," he says.

Avalanche awareness has grown significantly in recent years. Bobo's Mogul Mouse says it's the fast growing segment of the ski and snowboard market, and they carry all that equipment.

"Of course, you want to start out with a good beacon," says Pat Parraguirre. "That's going to be a transmitter, so they can locate you or you can locate your friends, so that you can find each other buried under the snow."

Parraguirre says buying all this equipment can be pricey, but it's worth it.

"Of course, once you make the investment, you're pretty much set for many years to come," he says.

Written by Adam Rasmussen

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