The Sawtooth Avalanche Center has scheduled three events this week to help backcountry users learn more about avalanches.

     On Wednesday, Jan. 15, at 6:30 p.m., forecaster Scott Savage will host a talk called “Effects of Ski Compaction” at Backwoods Mountain Sports in Ketchum. Savage will discuss how ski traffic and compaction impacts snow stability. He will address questions such as “Does ski traffic make slopes less likely to avalanche?” and “How many tracks are ‘enough?’”

     On Thursday, Jan. 16, from 6-8 p.m., the center will host “Intro to Avalanches” at the Wood River High School Performing Arts Theater, at the Community Campus in Hailey. The two-hour presentation will introduce basic concepts about snow, avalanches and traveling safely in and near avalanche terrain.

     There is a $10 suggested donation, but no preregistration is required.

     The class presentation will be followed by a field trip on Saturday, Jan. 18, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the Sawtooth National Recreation Area and at Galena Pass. The day’s events will cover avalanche rescue basics, snowpack layering, avalanche terrain identification and other basic snow and avalanche concepts.

     People can sign up for the field trip at the Thursday night classroom session. There is a $40 suggested donation to the Friends of the SAC to cover instructor costs.

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