An Update from the Avalanche Center
This is a brief update with some late season important news from the internet Avalanche Center, http://www.avalanche-center.org/
Contributions Being Matched 2:1
In the last update it was mentioned that we anticipate a budget shortfall of about $2000 for this season. In response to that a very generous anonymous individual has offered to match all contributions 2:1 either through June 15 or up to $700 of contributions. If our support base of individuals collectively reach the $700 mark the total raised will be $2100 which should put this years budget on track.
Most of our support already comes from individuals. This adds up to almost 50% of our budget. (The store is about 35%, with the auction and sponsorships together making up about 15%.) From now until the match is met your contribution will go three times as far, and small ones do add up. We are already up to $225 out of the $700 but this initial burst includes one large contribution in addition to several smaller and more typical ones. It's easy to contribute using your credit card online, and it helps justify our merchant account.
Avalanche Store End of Season Sale
Website updates and maintenance
We ran our link scanner on all sections. As we operate on reduced resources each season the Education and Professional Resources sections have received less attention and some links in both were repaired or removed. This process inevitably uncovers pages with poor html code and when that happens some time is usually invested in cleaning that up as well. Now and then this even goes back to the original coding of the site which predated design software and was all by hand with a simple text editor.
In the Education Section we finally removed all links to Colorado Firstrax which mysteriously disappeared over a year ago. Nobody seems to know what happened to it, or any of the fine content it had. While it had excellent avalanche content it was not a very commercial site and somebody probably got tired of running it for free, a problem we have seen more frequently in the past few years. (Along with free services becoming fee based, and going under if the market isn't sufficient.)
Also in the Education section we have updated the Spring Avalanche information page, which links to a few articles which are still out there aside from Firstrax as well as those end-of-season avalanche bulletins which offer tips on spring safety. You can quiz yourself as well, once you've reviewed these linked resources. There is a link at the top of the Education page as well as in the scroller on the home page.
The Bulletins section has almost no bad links that we know of. Most North American bulletins are no longer being issued and in those cases the archives have been zipped up and stored offline. Any final content that was timely and expired has been removed but generally helpful information on spring avalanche safety has been left in place and linked to from the page in the Education section as well. At this time the only daily information is for the Mt Washington, NH area and Mt Shasta. The Mt Shasta bulletin is technically finished as well but with a significant storm in progress there they are issuing afternoon updates this week. (Information from both regions comes from year-round wilderness and climbing rangers and is not dependent on funding dedicated to a seasonal specialized service.) The e-mail list for the Swiss national advisories is also still operating daily.
Our Incidents section is 100% clean with no bad links and accurate consistent figures between the listings pages and the database results.
We have now posted 119 incident reports from around the world with a total number of fatalities of 141, as of April 20. Most of which have been archived in the database and can be found by searching. Reports are slowing down now, as they do each spring. Much of western North America is a full month ahead in terms of conditions. However, there are usually bursts of avalanche activity this time of year. In the US it is most often related to climbing at higher elevations in the Northwest, usually in warm weather following a significant snowfall. While spring brings a great deal more predictability to avalanches than mid-winter they still occur. Keep this in mind while enjoying the great climbing and skiing which this time of year often offers.
Remember, it's easy to contribute using your credit card online, and it helps justify our merchant account. And right now your transaction will be matched 2-1.