Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In



A New Backcountry Safety Tool

AvaTech launches new backcountry safety tool and global data-sharing platform.

Get full access to Outside Learn, our online education hub featuring in-depth fitness, nutrition, and adventure courses and more than 2,000 instructional videos when you sign up for Outside+ Sign up for Outside+ today.

We didn’t have time to look at this in great detail because we’re too damn busy making magazines, but here’s some cool news from the avalanche-safety world. In a nutshell, a team of engineers has launched a new “smart probe” tool called the AvaTech SP1 that collects data from the snowpack and uploads it to a cloud platform in real time. While it’s spanking-new technology, it seems to hold the exciting promise of equipping backcountry skiers, heli and cat outfitters, and other snow-safety pros with better knowledge for decision-making in backcountry terrain. You’ll be able to read about it in greater detail in our December issue, but for now, here’s the press release and video the brand issued on September 16, 2014.

AvaTech Launches SP1 and AvaNet Featuring Instant Digital Snowpack Analysis and Global Snowpack Data Sharing

-AvaTech will debut the SP1 at the International Snow Science Workshop (ISSW) and is taking pre-orders online now.

September 16, 2014 (Park City, Utah) — AvaTech, a new technology company focused on developing breakthrough, proactive snow safety solutions, will unveil its first products, the SP1 and the AvaNet™ cloud platform, during the International Snow Science Workshop later this month. Snow professionals can pre-order from AvaTech at now.

“The SP1 is the result of over two years of rigorous design, technology development and testing,” explains Brint Markle, co-founder and CEO of AvaTech. “The SP1 is designed to help professionals understand the snowpack more quickly, accurately and objectively, and then share that information with the broader mountain community.”

AvaTech’s SP1 device reads snowpack structure, slope angle and aspect in seconds and then geo-tags the data, and uploads it real-time onto the AvaNet platform. AvaNet will dramatically increase the amount of data snow professionals can share and analyze, providing a unique geo-spatial database of crowd-sourced snowpack observations. Snow professionals will be able to gather more information and make bettesambar decisions with consistent data powered by this proprietary technology developed while at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Finally, professionals will also be able to rapidly upload their own manual snowpack observations with AvaTech’s Snowpit Editor, which features geo-tagging, photo upload and multiple forms of data visualization.

The SP1 features rugged construction with a collapsible 150 centimeter probe that folds easily into your backpack and weighs approximately one pound. Additionally, the SP1 can be wirelessly synced with a smartphone and AvaTech’s AvaNet™ cloud platform. Snowpack data can then be shared with a user community with the ability to search, track and discuss SP1 profiles and manual observations anywhere.

“I can’t dig twenty holes in a day, but I can certainly take twenty probe profiles,” states Brian Lazar, deputy director of the Colorado Avalanche Information Center. “So if I have that knowledge and I want to track a weak layer throughout different elevations, across different aspects or over time, I can use the SP1 to confirm the presence or absence of weak layers, which provides a much better understanding of how widespread a particular problem may be.”

AvaTech will unveil its SP1 and AvaNet™ cloud platform at ISSW in Banff, Canada, from September 29-October 3. ISSW has become the premier avalanche conference in the world. Roughly 1,000 delegates will converge for the 21st annual event to discuss theories, explore innovative concepts and maintain the state-of-the-art practice in the field of avalanche work.

To preorder an AvaTech SP1 for this winter, please visit Limited-time discounts will be offered to the professional snowsports community through October 6, 2014.

AvaTech is a builder of proactive systems that instantly analyze the snowpack and facilitate real-time sharing of this information in order for individuals and groups to make better decisions in the backcountry. For more information on AvaTech, visit