How do I avoid avalanches?
Predicting avalanches involves a lot of information, such as recent weather, layering of the snow, direction the slope is facing, etc.. There are training classes available in areas where avalanches are more common. Below are some of the basics.
Avalanches occur in areas where the slope is about 40 degrees. Snow tends to sluff off and does not accumulate on slopes steeper than about 50 degrees. Snow tends to remain stable on slopes of 32 degrees or less. It is important to note that people usually over-estimate slope angles.
One of the best way to tell if the area is prone to avalanche is to look at the bottom of the slope. Is the snow smooth or does it look like there has been an avalanche there earlier? Is the slope devoid of trees and/or are there damaged trees at the bottom of the slope?
If you believe that the area may be prone to avalanche, use another route.
It is important to note that 95% of people who are caught in avalanches are caught by a slide that was triggered by themselves or a member of their party.
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