Winter Recreation: Play it Safe

Visitors and residents to the Inyo National Forest are excited for winter recreation with early snowfall this year.

Winter recreationists must plan their adventure considering the current conditions, the weather forecast, and the terrain and geography that will be traveled.  Knowing what to expect will make your winter visit safer and much more enjoyable.

Anyone who may be traveling in potential avalanche terrain is encouraged to seek education and training resources; travel with a shovel, beacon, and probe; and have the knowledge required to use these tools. Visit the Eastern Sierra Avalanche Center website for the most recent information on snowpack and conditions www.esavalanche.org.

Ice skating is popular as well, but recreationists must carefully choose when they go onto the ice. No lake is certain to be safe with an adequate ice depth. Even though it has been cold, the ice is not necessarily deep enough. Cooling and warming trends can affect the ice significantly—recreationalists are responsible to assess their risks before going out onto the ice.

Dress warmly for cold weather, including layers, wicking base layers, hats and gloves. Day-time temperatures can get warm with the sun and cool quickly in the evening. As always, don’t underestimate weather in the High Sierra – expect that weather conditions can change rapidly.

The forest requires that all dogs are on a leash in all developed recreation sites, including groomed trails. Leaving pet waste behind on a groomed trail or in a developed recreation area is littering.

More snow is needed before the Shady Rest Nordic trails can be groomed. Additional snow accumulations are needed to begin grooming the snowmobile trail system. There is not enough (if any) snow on these trails.