Incident reports are critical to the greater backcountry community’s learning and healing process. Here at NWAC, we must balance the need for timely reporting with our commitment to avalanche forecasting every single day.
For fatal or serious incidents, NWAC strives to have forecast staff directly involved in the information gathering but each incident is different.
Depending on the details surrounding an incident, we may coordinate with local SAR organization(s), involved party members, other professional avalanche organizations (like ski patrol, WSDOT forecasters or mountain guides), law-enforcement officers and sometimes grieving family members. We are mindful that this process can seem painstakingly slow from the outside. We do our best to ensure the information is factual, timely, and respectful of the victims and their families.