Play Safe and Play all Season: 137 Avalanche Deaths Last Winter

Guest Author | | AvalancheAvalanche

With the temperatures dropping and new product lines coming out, it brings us to the start of our favorite time of the year: when the snow DROPS! We want everyone to play hard all season long, so it is important to be educated on avalanche risks and procedures before you get out there.

avalanche pic1

Last year their were 137 deaths due to avalanches worldwide.

At least 14% of the avalanche victims were riding alone.

At least 16% of the avalanche victims did not have proper avalanche gear.

Over 60% of the victims were touring.

Only 28% of the victims were freeriding (using lifts to get into the backcountry).

In at least four fatalities an inflated airbag couldn’t prevent the rider from getting buried.

Some of these could have been prevented if the victims were not traveling alone, had safety equipment, and were properly trained. it is sad to have lost so many people, that is why we want to make sure everyone is educated and safe, so we have GREAT season!

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Proper Safety Equipment

Having proper avalanche equipment and the knowledge to use it is just as important as being able to read the mountain. If you’ve never taken an avalanche class, We highly recommend taking your AVY 1 , even if you never go out of bounds. This will teach you how to use your equipment in life or death situations and help prevent them from happening.

Avalanche beacon

Probe poles

Avalanche shovel

Airbag (Recommended)

021512_Airbag_Gear_ABS avalanche-safety-gear

Avalanche Safety Guidelines

Avalanches occur in terrain where the slope is greater than 30 degrees, It doesn’t matter if it is a big or small slope.

Most avalanches occur during storms or during the 24-48 hours following one.

It is important to check current conditions and get avalanche danger ratings from a regional avalanche center.

Constantly evaluate avalanche of conditions.

Areas with fresh accumulations of wind-driven snow are particularly prone to sliding.

Extremely steep slopes particularly in shaded areas near a ridge are also risky.

Always travel with a partner. Descend risky areas one by one and watch for avalanche signs.

If caught in a slide, try to get off the slab or grab a tree.

If swept away, swim to the surface.

You have around 15 to 18 minutes to free the victim.

avalanche aftermath

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