Most people believe that avalanches no not occur in New Mexico. However, it only takes three key ingredients to have an avalanche:
1 Avalanche Terrain (any slope steep enough for snow to run)
2 An unstable snowpack
3 A trigger
The fact is, that avalanches are triggered every year in New Mexico. How you and your team travel in this terrain is a function of many critical points. As a SAR professional, you need to meet the industry standard. Avalanche training is part of that standard.
Backcountry snowmobiling has led to an alarming rate of burials and deaths on a National level within the past five years according to the Colorado Avalanche Information Center. However, backcountry freerider (ski and snowboard) burial and death rates have remained consistent from previous years. How will your team respond in avalanche terrain? What are the issues that surround that kind of decision making?
New Mexico Search and Rescue teams respond to these avalanche incidents but may not be ready to deal with not only the incident but also their own backcountry travel risk profile. Most Search and Rescue teams are not as versed in avalanche mitigation or risk assessment as mountain guides or ski patrols simply because SAR teams don’t have the equivalent experience or education.
Bring your team up to speed on the latest technology as well as literature-supported techniques through a BMG AIARE Certified Avalanche Course approved by the American Avalanche Association . BMG provides courses that are specifically tailored to Search and Rescue Teams. We will teach at your ski area or response area that your team responds to and help guide your team with formulating an emergency response plan.