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The U.S. Forest Service on Thursday issued the following press release on its avalanche beacon training park near Minturn:
MINTURN, Colo. (Dec. 15, 2022) – The White River National Forest’s avalanche beacon training park outside Minturn is open for the season, giving the public an easily accessible opportunity to practice important winter backcountry safety skills.
“Personal avalanche beacons are key to finding avalanche victims as soon as possible, but they are only effective if people know how to use them,” said Eagle-Holy Cross District Ranger Leanne Veldhuis. “This accessible public location should help encourage more people to become proficient using avalanche beacons, which can help save lives.”
The beacon training park is situated a short climb up the slope at the Mountain Meadow Trailhead next to the Eagle-Holy Cross Ranger Station, which is about ¼ mile from the I-70 Minturn exit on U.S. 24.
The park, which was developed in partnership with the Colorado Avalanche Information Center, consists of eight buried transmitters that can be turned on and off from a small control panel. This allows for multiple search scenarios to familiarize people with using their avalanche beacons and probing the snow for victims. It’s a self-operating system open all day to the public.
While avalanche beacons are important if someone becomes buried in an avalanche, avoiding avalanches in the first place is the best strategy. Before heading into the backcountry, check the avalanche forecast at https://avalanche.state.co.us/. More information about being safe in the backcountry this winter is available at www.fs.usda.gov/whiteriver.