KALISPELL - Winter is upon us and that means skiers and snowboarders across the Flathead Valley are starting to hike into the backcountry to find endless powder lines.
Although backcountry activities are fun they can come with their fair share of dangers, if not properly prepared for. The Flathead Avalanche Center is giving their all to keep the backcountry enthusiasts safe this winter.
On Thursday at Kalispell's Rocky Mountain Outfitter, the avalanche center gave one of their four scheduled avalanche safety courses. The course was open and free to the public and even provided free beer.
The hour-long class stressed how important it is to be prepared before going into the backcountry and how to check if conditions are safe once you are out there.
Zachary Miller, a volunteer for Friends of the Flathead Avalanche Center says the safest approach is to follow the “know before you go” program and have the right tools.
“You got to get gear. You got to get educated. You got to get the forecast. You got to get out there are be looking around and then last but not least you got to stay out of harm's way," Miller said.
"And these all come together and really are what’s vital in being safe out there in the backcountry. And we just don’t want to have any more fatalities, we want to have our local community here be safe and having fun and skiing lots of powder," Miller added.
The next avalanche safety course will be held at the Sportsman Ski Haus in Whitefish on Dec. 5.