Anyone who ventures up the canyons outside of Salt Lake City has seen the criss cross of tracks coming out of the Wasatch backcountry – a testimony to how backcountry skiing and snowboarding continues to grow as well as a warning of the risk involved.

In order to reduce danger on uncontrolled terrain in the face of increasing participation, Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort and the Utah Avalanche Center will combine to present the third annual Freeride Avalanche Summit.

Set for Jan. 9-10 at Snowbird, the gathering hopes to attract advanced and expert skiers and riders who like to go under the ropes but want to do so in a safe manner. The workshop includes instruction from professionals on line selection, snowpack analysis, terrain assessment, and travel techniques such as the “one-at-a-time” rule and location of “islands of safety.” Avalanche center officials will talk about how to incorporate forecasts into the risk of going into the backcountry.

Equally important will be instruction what to do if things go wrong, such as emergency notification, first aid, beacon recover, probing and shoveling techniques, and other essential skills for backcountry rescue.

The two-day workshop costs $150 and is limited to 45 participants. To sign up, visit the Snowbird Activity Center, or call 801-933-2147.

For more information on avalanche safety in Utah, click here.