- Step 1: Avoid hiking after storm Avoid hiking immediately after a storm. Most avalanches occur at the time of or shortly after a heavy snowfall.
- Step 2: Avoid steep slopes Avoid slopes with pitches greater than 25 degrees.
- TIP: If you must traverse a steep slope, cross at the highest point possible, one person at a time.
- Step 3: Stay to the windward side of ridges Stay on the windward side of gently sloping ridges. The snow is usually thinner there.
- Step 4: Avoid treeless slopes Avoid treeless slopes and gullies. The absence of trees may reflect that previous avalanches have occurred in the area.
- Step 5: Watch for cracks Watch for cracks or small slabs that have sheared off.
- Step 6: Listen Listen for hollow or thumping noises as you walk.
- Step 7: Dig snow pits Use a collapsible shovel to dig frequent snow pits. As you check the structure of the snowpack, be on the lookout for weak layers.
- FACT: In 1970, an avalanche in Peru killed nearly 20,000 people.
You Will Need
- Good weather
- Gentle slopes
- Windward ridges
- Tree-covered terrain
- Collapsible shovel