PALISADES — A young mother who lost her husband in an avalanche last year is continuing her mission to prevent similar tragedies from happening to others.
Summer Andersen, friends, volunteers and law enforcement installed ten avalanche warning signs around the Palisades area of Bonneville County earlier this month. The signs warn visitors to “know the snow,” check the daily avalanche forecast and carry proper avalanche safety gear.
“It feels amazing to see these signs up, and it gives me hope that they will continue to provide a reminder for riders to check the avalanche forecast and make sure they have their safety gear before setting out,” Andersen tells EastIdahoNews.com.
Summer’s husband, Adam Andersen, was snowmobiling with friends Jan. 10, 2018 when he became caught in an avalanche in the Mt. Jefferson area of Island Park. His body was recovered the next morning and his untimely death left three children without a father.
Andersen created the nonprofit Adam Andersen Avalanche Project and with the help of Action Motor Sports, raised money to install the warning signs in eastern Idaho. Last year she worked with the U.S. Forest Service to post the signs at five different trailheads in Island Park.
“This year we had the help of the Caribou-Targhee Forest Service Office, the Bonneville County Sheriff’s Office, Bonneville County Search and Rescue and volunteers Chris Wilcox and Tony Jenkins,” Andersen says.
Three people were killed in Idaho avalanches in 2018 and one snowmobiler died in January 2019 after being buried in an avalanche at Upper Palisades Lake, according to the National Avalanche Association.
Andersen has also partnered with Action Motor Sports for free avalanche awareness seminars. In October, a class was held with raffle proceeds going toward the Adam Anderson Avalanche Project. The project has purchased thousands of dollars worth of avalanche safety gear that it loans to the community at no cost. The gear was used roughly 100 times by snowmobilers last year, Action Motor Sports Controller Steve Dutcher told EastIdahoNews.com.
“With my grief, focusing on this has been a good outlet for me,” Andersen told EastIdahoNews.com last year. “It’s almost therapeutic for me to get lost in this. I think about what happened, and it seems so senseless.”
More information can be found on the Adam Andersen Project Facebook page.