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Headed To The Backcountry? First Check This Interactive Avalanche Map

snow, avalanche, sawtooth
Mark Westerdoll
Sawtooth Avalanche Center

Winter and early spring in the West means it's avalanche season. Several avalanche warnings have recently been in effect for parts of south central Idaho. And at least 17 people have died this season, including a Bellevue, Idaho man.

The Northwest News Network has detailed what to do if you're caught in a slide. But here's something that can help long before sheets of snow begin roaring down a mountain.

This interactive map from the Bridger-Teton National Forest Avalanche Center and the American Avalanche Association shows up-to-date avalanche warnings and potential slide zones. Click around the map to see detailed information, and zoom in for area-specific data.

Map created and updated by the Bridger-Teton National Forest Avalanche Center | American Avalanche Association
According to a recent USA Today article, an average of 28 people die each year in avalanches. That's a big increase from the 1950s, when the average was just four deaths per year. USA Today reports the increase is directly related to the surge in backcountry recreation. 

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