- Know the three factors required for an avalanche:
- Slope - Avalanche generally occur on slopes steeper than 30 degrees
- Snowpack - Recent avalanches, shooting cracks, and “whumpfing” are signs of unstable snow.
- Trigger - Sometimes it doesn’t take much to tip the balance; people, new snow, and wind are common triggers.
- Determine if you are on or below slopes that can avalanche
- Find out if the snow is stable
- Get the Advisory: Refer to your local avalanche center for current snowpack conditions!
- Get the Gear...and learn how to use it! Have these three avalanche safety essentials in your pack. :
- Transceiver: so you can be found if covered by the snow
- Shovel: so you can dig out your partner
- Probe: so you can locate someone who has been covered by the snow
Avalanche survival rates plummet after about 15 minutes for victims who do not die from trauma. Saving your partner is up to you! Practicing realistic scenarios beforehand is essential.