This month, we are featuring Eastern Sierra Avalanche Center (ESAC) as our Measure U partner. ESAC has been operating since 2005 with the mission of providing information to help users make better travel decisions around avalanche terrain and come home safely at the end of the day.
ESAC covers a 70-mile stretch of the Eastern Sierra Nevada from Virginia Lakes in the north to the mountains outside of Bishop in the south. This large forecast zone is divided by watersheds into ten distinct regions that make up over 1,000 square miles of skiable terrain. While ESAC’s advisories do not officially extend beyond the reaches of Virginia Lakes to Bishop, observations often get shared on the ESAC website from as far south as Whitney and as far north as Bridgeport.
The purpose of the Eastern Sierra Avalanche Center is to inform and educate the public on avalanche conditions in the backcountry through avalanche advisories. ESAC is entering its fifth season as a Type I Avalanche Center, issuing daily advisories through their website. These advisories are composed of a map showing the advisory region color-coded with the day’s danger rating, a bottom line, and detailed avalanche problem section that includes the likelihood and possible size of certain kinds of avalanches along with travel advice, the weather forecast, a discussion, and links to recent field observations. The website and mission of helping backcountry users make better decisions and come home safely doesn’t stop there. The website also features an Observation Page where forecasters and members of the public can share point specific snowpack, weather, and avalanche observations; an Education page providing a plethora of useful on-line avalanche education resources, information on local avalanche course providers, and in-depth discussions on how to use the features of ESAC’s website; a Weather Sensor Application allowing any user to easily compare remote weather station data from a dozen different stations; and a Discussion Forum where any user can start a dialogue or share information on subjects that aren’t specific to observations.
ESAC also offers several FREE educational clinics throughout the winter discussing backcountry travel and avalanche education.
Check out all these fantastic features and learn more about the Eastern Sierra Avalanche Center at www.esavalanche.org.