Avalanche Safety Tips

avalanche safetyFor any big-time skier or snowboarder it is imperative to know at least the basics in avalanche safety, but it is even more important for backcountry enthusiasts. It is important to know which areas are the most dangerous and how keep yourself safe. Most avalanches occur in the backcountry, so here are the areas to avoid and tips to help keep you safe:

•    The largest percent of avalanches occur on slopes of 30 degrees or greater.
•    Stay away from leeward slopes during strong winds.
•    Avoid going skiing or snowboarding during or shortly after heavy snowstorms.
•    Be aware of melting snow – this happens mostly after periods of cold weather followed by warm weather. Watch out for these conditions in the spring.
•    Stay out of gullies and natural pathways for snow to follow.
•    If possible do not go alone. If you do then let someone know where you are going.
•    Check the weather and avalanche reports.
•    Bring avalanche equipment with you and know how to use it.
•    Take an avalanche safety source.

The best time to avoid the danger of avalanches when skiing or snowboarding is to go the morning after a cold, clear night. This way the snow has time to freeze and is less likely to break away, causing an avalanche. Be smart, educate yourself and be prepared before you adventure into the wonderful, snowy world of the backcountry.

Author

Jason has lived in Colorado for nearly 20 years and loves the outdoor lifestyle in the Western mountains. He enjoys exploring new areas and writing about them to help others in their journeys.

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