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Avalanche series ‘Perils in Powder’ starts today

The Chronicle began a 3-day series on avalanches this morning with [a hell of a story]( by reporter Jason Bacaj, who interviewed a local man who survived being buried in an avalanche a couple years ago. It’s a suspenseful story that actually had me on the edge of my seat wondering just who would be left alive by the end of it.

We also have a couple of stories on this first day [by Laura Lundquist](, who looks at the mechanics of an avalanche learned via another survivor’s tale, and [by Jodi Hausen](, who looks at how better gear is getting more and more people into the backcountry, where they can easily find trouble if they don’t have the experience to avoid it.

More stories are coming tomorrow and Friday, but the thing I’m excited about at this moment is [the interactive that’s going along with the story online]( It includes lots of data Bacaj dug up from avalanche centers across the West and presents them in nice, interactive graphics. In the spirit of transparency, we have even made the data downloadable.

So take a look at the stories and let us know what you think, and look for more to hit your doorsteps and computer screens in the next couple days.