“Know Before You Go” When Venturing Out In Avalanche-Prone Terrain

Chris Wallner | BackcountryBackcountry | AvalancheAvalanche

Every person that decides to venture out in the backcountry, will be exposed to avalanches in one way or another, whether its training or the unthinkable, an actual avalanche, you will experience it. The Utah Avalanche Center and the Colorado Avalanche Information Center have teamed up with Avalanche Canada, Backcountry Access, the American Avalanche Association, the American Institute of Avalanche Research and Education, the National Avalanche Center, Sherpas Cinema, Red Bull Media House, Brainfarm and others to make this short film in order to inform you of avalanche risks and methods to minimize your risk.

“All this information is great and incredibly practical, but at the end of the day, if you feel uneasy about something, its about having the courage to say no and walk away,” stated Travis Rice, a professional snowboarder.

A skier riding out a Dry Slab Avalanche in the backcountry.

Most avalanches that occur are Dry Slab Avalanches,  where one layer is weak and that layer lurks in the shadows waiting for a trigger. That trigger is you, but most of the time you don’t see it coming, all you see is that enticing powder on top. Once the avalanche is started, it ventures outward and takes out most of the slope heading down the mountain at increasingly high speeds. Acquiring knowledge on five basic things before venturing out in the backcountry can prevent most avalanche accidents and those include: the gear, the training, the forecast, the picture, and getting out of harms way. 25% of all avalanche victims are killed due to trauma experienced while going down the mountain with the avalanche. The rest die from asphyxiation, but 67% of those that die from asphyxiation, would be saved with proper gear and training.

“Some days, the mountains are screaming Get Outta Here and some days the mountains are going Come On In, Its Time To Party,” stated Jeremy Jones, a professional snowboarder.

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