Could a potentially deadly avalanche occur in the Adirondack Mountains of New York? Two St. Lawrence University students working on an independent study project to try and determine that.

Steven Alexander '03 of Amsterdam, New York, and Brian Kearney '01, of Garden City, New York, began their study while on a trip to the Tetons with St. Lawrence's Outdoor Education Program in January. Working with Outdoor Program Director Philip Royce, Alexander and Kearney examined the layers of snow ("snow pack") that were in avalanche regions, along with the terrain, weather conditions and other factors. After returning to campus for the spring semester, they began making field trips to similar regions in the Adirondacks, studying the same conditions there. Although they have not yet completed their study, Alexander says that the same conditions present in the Tetons exist in the Adirondacks, and that they are in some of the areas most favored by skiers and other outdoors enthusiasts.

"We're really hoping to educate the users of the area that these conditions are present," Alexander says. "With the increase in the number of visitors to the area in recent years, we feel that the danger is greater and people visiting should be aware of that."

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