It’s a job that aims to save lives. And it’s one where they often put their own lives in danger. Yet, four full-time U.S. Forest Service snow rangers who monitor avalanche danger in New Hampshire’s White Mountains have been working through the federal government shutdown without being paid in three weeks, according to an article on PressHerald.com.
Backcountry skiers headed to the national forests in the Mount Washington region rely on the daily avalanche reports posted by these rangers to know where they can ski safely. The rangers are also part of the network of first responders who attempt to rescue people trapped by avalanches.
In monitoring avalanche conditions, the rangers often put themselves in harm’s way. In 2015, ranger Jeff Lane was caught in an avalanche while monitoring conditions and carried several hundred feet down a mountain. He somehow escaped unharmed.
The Mount Washington area experiences 15 to 20 avalanches a year in ravines that are visited by backcountry skiers and ice climbers.