MINTURN, Colo. — Want to practice your avalanche rescue skills? The avalanche beacon training park outside of Minturn is now open for the season, according to a spokesperson with the White River National Forest.
“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.”
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The training park, which was developed in partnership with the Colorado Avalanche Information Center (CAIC), is near the Mountain Meadow Trailhead next to the Eagle-Holy Cross Ranger Station, which is about a quarter mile from the I-70 exit for Minturn, according to White River National Forest spokesperson David Boyd. It has eight buried transmitters that can be turned on and off from a control panel, allowing multiple scenarios for practicing searching for a victim under the snow.
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The self-operating system is open all day to the public, Boyd said. It opened in late 2020.
Parks like this have traditionally been located at ski areas, Veldhuis said after the park opened two years ago. This new, public location will hopefully encourage more people to "become proficient using avalanche transceivers, which can help save lives," she said.
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“Avalanche transceivers are key to finding avalanche victims as soon as possible, but they are only effective if people know how to use them," she continued.
Before leaving for a backcountry adventure in the wintry months, check CAIC's website for the latest avalanche forecast.
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