With the weather getting better in Colorado, it sure seems like winter is over.
But the fact is, the heavy snow in January and February has lengthened the ski season. In addition, the large amount of snow has dramatically increased avalanche danger.
In January 2015, Bryce Astle and Ronnie Berlack, two members of the U.S. Ski Team developmental squad, were killed in an avalanche in Austria when they were unknowingly skiing out of bounds on an off day.
The parents of the young men, Steve and Cindy Berlack and Jamie and Laura Astle, founded the BRASS Foundation, also known as the Bryce And Ronnie Athlete Snow Safety Foundation.
A major initiative of the foundation is avalanche safety, not only for athletes but also for recreational skiers and boarders.
The foundation has produced a powerful short film on the topic called "Off Piste," meaning off trail. You can watch it below or at BrassFoundation.org.
Most of us go to the mountains for various kinds of recreation and never once think about avalanche danger. Certainly knowing the basics on the subject and being prepared are vital for those going into the backcountry.
But being prepared and knowing the basics is also important if you're going to one of the ski resorts.
Mike caught up with Cindy Berlack, Abby Ghent and Ethan Greene in this edition of the podcast and they go in-depth about avalanche danger and avalanche preparedness.
Cindy talks about Ronnie's accident, the BRASS Foundation and the film "Off Piste" and more.
Abby is from Vail and was a member of the U.S. Ski Team from 2010-2015. She talks about how important it is for both athletes and recreational skiers/boarders to know about avalanche danger and preparedness.
Ethan is the Director of the Colorado Avalanche Information Center and has some practical tips about what to know and how to be prepared.
BRASS FOUNDATION - BrassFoundation.org
COLORADO AVALANCHE INFORMATION CENTER - avalanche.state.co.us
Click to watch "Off Piste."
Cindy Berlack, Ronnie Berlack's mother and one of the founders of the BRASS Foundation. (Photo: You Tube)
Abby Ghent, former member of the U.S. Ski Team. (Photo: You Tube)
Ethan Greene, Director of the Colorado Avalanche Information Center. (Photo: You Tube)