FRISCO, Colo. (CBS4)– As more people head into the backcountry for some winter fun, search and rescue crews in Summit County are urging people have their avalanche beacons with them and know how to use them in an emergency.

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“We are seeing more and more interest as time goes on,” Summit County Search and Rescue Group member Charles Pitman says about their avalanche beacon training park in Frisco at the Adventure Park.

Since going online in 2016, Pitman said they are seeing more and more people taking advantage of the free center to hone their skills in case of an emergency.

(credit: CBS)

“We are hoping that with the Beacon Park people will be encouraged to get out and begin to practice. It’s completely free. There are usually a lot of people out there tromping around in the snow and working on their beacon skills,” Pitman says.

This year the group is upgrading to a wireless beacon training park now, making it easier for people to navigate.

(credit: CBS)

“It was a process to set it up in order to hide all of the beacons. It takes a while, but this new one we are working on is completely wireless, it’s very easy to set up and very easy to use,” Pitman explained.

With recent deadly avalanches in Summit County and Vail Mountain zones, search and rescue crews say the need to have the right safety gear and the ability to use it will save your life or someone else in a slide.

“You are going to save yourself or your buddy, that’s what we want to see happen,” Pitman added.

As crews wait for this beacon park to come online in the coming weeks, there are other parks across the state and you can find the one closest to you: Backcountry Access Avalanche Beacon Training Park Locations.

Matt Kroschel

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