"Getting the picture" is all about recognizing red flags and consequence.

When You Wake Up

67_expanded_gallery3.jpg

Look outside. What is the weather doing? Did it snow? Did the wind blow? What do you think happened in the mountains?


Check the avalanche advisory

Click here to find your  your local avalanche advisory.


Driving to the Trailhead

highway_wind.jpg

Stay focused. Watch for recent avalanche activity: Aspect? Depth?
Take note of recent wind activity: Which slopes are loaded?


At the Trailhead

Equipment check.
Group transceiver check.

Talk to people who have already been in the terrain.

Discuss your plan: does it make sense based on the information you have gathered?


While Traveling

The weather and the snowpack will give you clues about the avalanche danger!


Traveling safely through avalanche terrain takes thought, practice, and skill. Decisions must be based on objective information …

Is the slope steep enough to avalanche?
Is there an avalanche problem?
What are the consequences if the slope slides?

Make Your Own Decisions

Practice situational awareness and make your
own decisions. Your partners will affect your decisions … choose wisely.


Decision making exercises such as checklists can be valuable tools to asses avalanche danger and consequence for beginner and experts alike. Below are two examples:

McCammon and Hageli, 2004

McCammon and Hageli, 2004

*This checklist is from Snow Sense, by Jill Fredston and Doug Fesler. Available from The Alaska Mountain Safety Center, 9140 Brewsters Drive, Anchorage, Alaska 99516, (907)-345-3566.

*This checklist is from Snow Sense, by Jill Fredston and Doug Fesler. Available from The Alaska Mountain Safety Center, 9140 Brewsters Drive, Anchorage, Alaska 99516, (907)-345-3566.