Avalanche Safety: The Basics

1. One at a time

This is one of the oldest rules in the book but one that should be followed. When stopping to wait for other members in your party you should always ensure you stop in a place that is protected from risk. Below rocks and on ridges are two good options.

Avoid: Stopping below a loaded slope.

2. Keep your tracks together

Try to follow the tracks made by the person ahead of you. This is thought to lower risk considerably.

Avoid: Making fresh tracks away from the rest of your group

3. Ensure that all of your party are avalanche savvy

It is all well and good if you have avalanche equipment but zero use if other members of your group are not capable of using said equipment. You should choose your backcountry companions carefully and ensure that they are all savvy when it comes to reading the snow pack and how to use all necessary equipment. Practice makes perfect so don’t be afraid to do a few dummy runs with the transceiver before heading out on the mountain. Think of it as a high-tech game of hide and seek.

Avoid: Riding in the backcountry with people who lack off-piste experience


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