How to use a Snow Visa
1. Get the avalanche forecast
2. Fill in your Snow Visa
3. Enjoy and stay safe in the backcountry
4. Wipe away notes to be ready for your next trip
The Snow Visa is a simple, non-digital tool to help backcountry recreationists stay safe while traveling in backcountry terrain. The Snow Visa is placed on the front tip of a ski or snowboard, providing a place to record important and timely notes to encourage safe travel while backcountry skiing and riding. It's like a whiteboard for the tip of your ski or snowboard.
The Snow Visa is a robust, high-quality, waterproof, sticker which is specifically designed to be written on with a special marking tool. The writing won’t wash away in water (or turn after turn of powder), yet can be easily cleaned away at the end of the day.
The Snow Visa is meant to be filled in before heading out for a day of riding in the backcountry. As you travel through the backcountry, the Snow Visa will be quite literally right in front you, at the tip of your ski and at the top of your mind. The Snow Visa gives you a constant reminder of why you are staying safe, what the avalanche forecast is for the day, what your plan is for the day, and the five red flags of avalanches.
The five sections of the Snow Visa
The Snow Visa is divided into five specific sections meant to first motivate and then assist you in safely traveling through the backcountry.
1. Commitment to safety -What are you coming home to, whether it be family, friends, the next beer, or the next trip? Keeping the fun and adventure of the mountains in constant perspective of the bigger picture.
2. Gear - Checklist of beacon, shovel, probe. If you do not have these three items, you should not be in the backcountry. Turn around and go home.
3. Avalanche Forecast - After reading your local avalanche forecast provided by avalanche professionals, distill down the most pressing avalanche problems you need to keep top of mind. What aspects are these problems on, how big could an avalanche be if triggered and how likely is triggering this avalanche problem?
4. Plan - What is your plan for the day? Both your objectives (GO) and what you have ruled out (NO). Stay committed to your plan and stay safe.
5. Red Flags - The five red flags of avalanches, serving as a constant reminder of what to look for and what to react to if the conditions change.