This startling footage of a human-triggered avalanche was captured just a few days ago near Kirkwood Ski Resort, California. The snowboarder who sparked it was swept along for a terrifying 500 foot ride. Happily, he survived without injury after remaining on top of the debris as it thundered down the mountain.
90 per cent of people that die in avalanches do so in incidents either triggered by themselves, or by people in their group. However, there are steps that can reduce your chances of becoming a victim of the snow.
Look out for warning signs
Keep your eyes peeled for red flags, or other signs warning about the danger or avalanches. These signs don’t have to be literal. If there is debris lying around from recent avalanches, the likelihood of a new one is heightened.
Also listen for cracking, thumping, or whoomping sounds as you ski or snowboard. This can be a telltale sign of the snowpack being unstable.
Look out for what looks like fresh snow when you know it hasn’t dumped for a wile. This can be snow that’s been blown by the wind. It can be unstable, and exactly the kind of terrain that can start an avalanche rolling.