IDAHO — Unstable snow, cracking of snow, and audible collapsing are signs of a potential avalanche. Rich Gummersall has been teaching the classes for fifteen years.
"You are the rescue party when you're out riding, so everybody that leaves the trailhead needs a receiver, probe, and shovel and know how to use them," said Gummersall.
A receiver is a device that sends out a signal if someone is buried, and rescuers need to find their exact location.
"Once you're at the point where the victim is buried, you switch from the receiver to the avalanche probe. The avalanche probe gives you the ability to push through the avalanche snow until you get a probe strike. Once you get a probe strike, the probe stays in place, and you switch to the avalanche shovel. The avalanche shovel needs to be a good sturdy shovel to dig through the setup avalanche snow."
He says it's crucial for everyone going out in the Idaho backcountry to get educated to make the best decision possible.
For a schedule of classes head here, parksandrecreation.idaho.gov/activities/snowmobiling