Swept Away

If youÂ’ve considered every alternative and can find no way to detour around a potentially hazardous snowfield, follow these avalanche-safety practices

Outdoor Life Online Editor

Safety Rules

  • Don't travel alone. If there is trouble, the more people on hand, the better.
  • When traversing a potential avalanche path, cross one person at a time as the rest of the party watches from a safe location. Remember, just because one or more persons made it across does not mean the slope is safe for everyone who follows.
  • If the crossing is wide and interrupted by islands of safety (clusters of mature trees, a ridge, high ground), move from one to the other until you are all the way across.
  • When traveling up or down a slope that presents a potential avalanche hazard, stay to the side of the snowfield as much as possible. If the snow breaks loose and begins to slide, the snow along the flanks may move more slowly and allow you to escape.