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Backpacker Magazine – Online Exclusive

Watch These Rangers Intentionally Trigger An Avalanche

...by throwing bombs out of a helicopter.

by: Ted Alvarez

image: YouTube
image: YouTube

Washington's Steven’s Pass area sees a tremendous amount of snow (over 130 inches in just the last two weeks), making it a ski and snowboarding mecca.  But all that powder comes the potential for horrifyingly giant avalanches such as the fatal February 2012 Tunnel Creek slide famously chronicled in The New York Times's “Snowfall” article.

Given that level of danger, one might reasonably ask: how does Steven’s Pass make the area safe for recreation at all? Answer: Experts set off controlled avalanches by dropping explosive charges the size of beer kegs out of a helicopter. Watch – and definitely do NOT try at home:



Dangerous though it may be, I wish I had that job for just one day. I’d come home, plunk my heli keys on the desk, and when someone asks how my day was, reply: “Oh, fine. Just threw some bombs out of chopper to start an avalanche. Regular day at the office.”

(via Huffington Post)



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