Podcast: An Unforgiving Winter

USGS scientist Erich Peitzsch talks about what has been a deadlier than normal avalanche season and a study that revealed what kind of backcountry user seems to be getting caught in deadly slides most often

By Andy Viano

Dig even deeper into the biggest stories of the last seven days with the Beacon’s weekly podcast.

This week: It’s only February but this has already been a deadlier avalanche season than most, a reality that struck close to home earlier this year when a 59-year-old snowmobiler was killed in the Swan Range. Staff Writer Maggie Dresser wrote about the dangers and spoke with Erich Peitzsch, a research physical scientist at the U.S. Geological Survey. Peitzsch joins the show to talk about the work he’s doing, why the avalanche risk has been high here in recent weeks, and about a study on the age of those who are most often killed in deadly slides. Later, host Andy Viano returns to run through the biggest stories from the last seven days, including a local school district’s decision to stop requiring masks for in-person learning, another twist in what started as a murder case, and a history-making update on a show we did earlier this year.

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The music in this episode is “Thinking Music” by Kevin MacLeod ( and is licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License.

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