The more time that passes when you are buried in an avalanche, the lower your chance of survival. The actual statistics of the survival times of those buried by avalanches is shocking. According to the Colorado Avalanche Information Center, if you are full buried for:
0-10 minutes you have a 90% chance of survival
11-20 minutes you have a 36% chance of survival
21+ minutes you have a 24% chance of survival that decreases by the minute.
Visualize these numbers the next time you are thinking about skiing something sketchy in considerable avalanche danger, and always remember to recreate in the backcountry with proper gear, knowledge, and education. If you don’t know, don’t go!