DON’T GET CAUGHT IN AN AVALANCHE
“What causes avalanches? YOU! Most deadly avalanches are started by the people involved!”
- Check the forecast. Where are the dangerous slopes?
- Has your group agreed to avoid those slopes?
“Too many fatal avalanches involve more than one person on the slope!”
- One at a time on the slope!
- If this slope avalanches what would happen to you?
“Half of those buried in avalanches die!”
- What gear do you need to rescue your companion?
- When was the last time you practiced avalanche rescue?
BEFORE YOU GO…
1. Learn from a pro
Take an AIARE Avalanche course. An AIARE course will train you how to make decisions and manage avalanche hazards.
2. Practice Rescue
- Avalanche Transceiver – to locate burial site
- Probe – to pinpoint the victim
- Shovel – to extract the victim
- Avalanche Balloon System
- Emergency Communication Device – to call for help
- First aid kit, warm jacket and tarp or pad to reduce the onset of hypothermia until help arrives.
3. Plan to Avoid Today’s Danger
Every time you go out, read today’s local
avalanche forecast. Where are the dangerous
slopes? Confirm on a map, image or with terrain
you can preview what terrain you will avoid.
www.avalanche.org for avalanche forecasts.
4. In Avalanche Terrain: Ask “What If…?”
Before you commit, visualize what an avalanche would
look like on the slope. What is the consequence to
you? Talk about it with your group. Where and how
can you move to reduce your avalanche exposure?
AVALANCHE SAFETY EQUIPMENT TO CARRY WITH YOU:
– Avalanche Transceiver
Always worn in avalanche terrain, these devices send snowpenetrating
radio waves on a standard frequency all the
time. If someone is caught in an avalanche, switch yours to
receive to hone-in on your partner’s position. Simpler to
use than ever, these devices still require proper technique and practice.
Don’t waste a second of time. Pinpoint your partner’s
location with this essential tool. Dig in the right spot. Also
great for tracking snow depth and locating crevasses.
Dig hard, efficiently! Don’t be fooled, digging out a buried
partner is brutally hard work, but a good shovel and proper
technique can save a life. Additionally, use your shovel for
digging snow shelters or investigating snowpack layers.
– Avalanche Balloon System
Self-rescue is your best bet. Half of buried avalanche
victims die. DON’T GET BURIED. Education and good
decisions are your first line of defense, and ABS system
backs you up.