Military Artillery Program


In addition to the danger avalanches pose to recreationists in the backcountry, they also threaten some roads and many ski areas.  Ski areas and highway departments mitigate the avalanche danger with explosives, triggering  slides when no one is exposed to the avalanche danger.   

A variety of tools exist for delivering explosives to avalanche starting zones.  One time-tested method involves using military artillery to release avalanches. A number of ski areas on Forest Service land have terrain that is best mitigated with these weapons. The Forest Service leases the weapons from the Army and operates the program in close cooperation with the ski areas. Access to military weapons allows these ski areas to better and more safely mitigate the avalanche danger within their boundaries.