Avalanche Beacon Check Stations Installed at Snowy Range Trailheads
The Snowy Range Snowmobile Club has partnered with the Wyoming State Trails Program and Medicine Bow National Forest to make the Snowy Range a safer place for snowmobilers and other outdoor enthusiasts by installing two avalanche beacon check stations, according to a news release from the Snowy Range Snowmobile Club.
The check stations are located on the Laramie Ranger District above the Green Rock trailhead on the Wyoming State Trail ‘U’ and on the Brush Creek District on Wyoming State Snowmobile trail ‘CE’, both popular winter recreation areas.
The beacon check stations encourage recreational users to find out “Are You Beeping?” – a tagline for a national safety campaign that aims to get back country enthusiasts to use and maintain functioning avalanche transceivers before heading into potential avalanche terrain.
In the fall of 2017, the Snowy Range Snowmobile Club, a Laramie-based organization that advocates for the snowmobile community by promoting safe and responsible access to public lands, contacted avalanche safety instructor Brian Lundstedt, founder of Tyler’s Backcountry Awareness and longtime Snowmobile Club member. Lundstedt builds and tests check stations for TBA, which incorporate beacon checking technology from Ortovox, a German snow safety equipment manufacturer and graphics from ArcticFX.
The stations help recreationists test their avalanche transceivers with ease – all the user needs to do is approach the check station. If the check station detects a functioning beacon, it will display illuminated green arcs and sound a tone. If a malfunctioning beacon is detected, the check station displays a red triangle, indicating the user should service their equipment.
The beacons are just one way to keep safe in avalanche territory. Back country goers should also carry an avalanche probe and a shovel when snowmobiling, skiing, snowboarding or traveling in avalanche terrain.
The Snowmobile Club plans to maintain the beacon check stations and has plans to install additional check stations at additional winter trailheads depending on user support and the availability of funding.
The Snowmobile Club was able to purchase the beacon check stations with the support of Front Range Powersports of Fort Collins, CO, Frontier Cycles of Laramie, TNT Motorsports of Laramie, Driven Powersports of Casper, Shively Hardware of Saratoga and Borderline Power Sports of Cheyenne.