10 Tips on surviving an approaching avalanche

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An avalanche is simply defin as the rapid falling of snow, ice and rock down a hill or mountainside. It can be caus by many things, but humans cause up to 90% of these s. Any time you’re surround by mountains of snow, you’re at risk of causing and getting caught in an avalanche. 

Humans sometimes walk or ride over snow that has an underlying weak layer. It will start a slide that will follow its natural path downhill causing damage along the way. Chances of survival if you’re rescu after being buri for 15 minutes is 90% but it gets bleak quickly.

The best thing you can do is to ucate yourself on early warning signs and check the forecast before you head out. Always travel in pairs using a buddy system and have an emergency plan before you set out. 

The next best thing is to be prepa if you get caught in an unexpe snow slide because time is of the essence.

When heading out into the snow-cove mountains, always remember to have an avalanche beacon on you. It is an emergency locator beacon that allows you to transmit and receive radio signals. 

This will come in handy if you or any members of your group get buri or lost during a . Even if you’re buri under layers of snow, rs will be able to find you if you have your beacon on you.

Some key things to take note of when carrying an Avalanche Beacon:

Out in the mountains, ensure that you carry a basic survival kit. This will give you the tools you ne to sustain yourself while waiting for help to get to you. vary depending on the terrain you’re on so be sure to pack the right gear for you. 

Essentials items you will ne:

Include in your kit some extra layers and a space blanket as this will come in handy if you ne to spend the night while waiting for . Everything in your kit should be check regularly to be in working condition. 

The best way to deal with an avalanche is to avoid it. 

Once you’re aware of an oncoming avalanche, quickly make your way to the side of it. You could be the cause of moving snow and if it starts right under your feet jump off and move higher than the crack. You would be able to avoid getting caught in the entire cascade. 

If it start significantly higher than where you are, you may be able to outrun it. However, you want to ensure you’re not right in the centre of it where the snow is moving fastest and at the highest volume. 

You could end up being buri at the bottom of the masses of snow which will make difficult. Chances of hypothermia are also increas if you’re caught at the bottom of a snow pile. 

You might not always be able to move out of the way. First, get rid of any equipment or gear you may be holding on to like your snowboard or snowmobile. Try to keep your backpack on you. It will keep your neck safe while also holding your survival kit.

Grab onto something sturdy like a boulder or a tree that’s ground in place to help hold you up. In a minor snowslide, you will be able to allow it to pass and regain your footing. You may still get swept off but you will have the advantage of not being buri under the snow. 

Grabbing onto something works best when you do it before the start of an avalanche. It becomes difficult to grab onto a tree when snow is surging down at high spes. On the other hand, do not hide behind a rock because snow piling up behind it will bury you er in the snow.

While it is best to rea immiately to signs of an avalanche, we don’t get to pick the exa situation we end up in. You may get caught in a tide of snow before you realize it. Staying above the snow is important to ensure you don’t get buri too at the bottom of the pile. 

To do so, use a swimming motion to move uphill and keep yourself at the surface of the gushing snow. Violently moving your hands and legs around will also keep you from sinking. 

Swimming against the current will help you stay towards the top of the snow pile. Alternatively, swimming backstroke with your face upward and your feet dug into the snow will slow down your decline.

Efforts to stay afloat may not always be successful. When you feel the momentum starting to slow down, have one hand over your mouth and the other one straight above you. 

Once the snow comes to a complete stop, it will start to become compa around you. This happens very quickly so you have a very short time to a

Keep an arm over your head to help determine which way is up. rs will be able to spot you quickly if you’re not buri completely and your arm will give them a signal to where you are. You can also use your snow shovel to dig your way out of there.

Before the snow flow stops, take a breath and hold it for a few seconds. This will give you breathing room once it starts to settle around you. Without this space, you might not get to expand your chest at all. 

Create a pocket of air to breathe by digging a space around your face with your arm.  

You may be buri for a while and you want to ensure asphyxiation does not get you first. The air pocket you’ve creat should give you enough air to breathe for 30 minutes while waiting to be rescu.  

Getting buri in snow can be disorienting and you might have been toss around before getting buri. Try the spitting to determine which way is up if you are unsure. 

Once you’ve got a pocket of space in front of your face, spit and see which way gravity carries it. Then, dig in the opposite direion to get yourself out. 

Digging yourself out will only be possible if you’re near the surface. If you feel that you are too far buri, it might be better to wait to be rescu

Staying calm, while easier said than done, is vital. It is impossible to dig yourself out if you’re buri more than a foot and you will have to wait for rs. The best thing you can do for yourself is to take slow easy breaths and avoid panic. 

Conserve air and energy to prolong the amount of time you have while waiting. 

It might be tempting to want to yourself but you will wear yourself out and uce your chance of survival. You may hear people overhead and you can call out to them. 

If they don’t hear you after a few times, don’t waste your energy calling out as they wouldn’t be able to hear you as clearly as you hear them. rs will track your beacon and come to save you. 

Get prepa and enrol yourself in a training course that will teach you everything you ne to know before heading out into the snow-cove mountains. Being train will uce the risks of being in an avalanche and increase the chances of survival. 

There are many organizations that offer courses that will teach you to avoid avalanches, save yourself and anyone who gets caught in them. Getting adequate training will also teach you to look out for signs of an oncoming avalanche.

The best way to survive an avalanche is to dete the early warning signs and avoid them. Once caught in one, you have to rea quickly because the situation can be fatal. 

Even the most experienc hikers get caught in unexpe situations so always be prepa before heading out. These tips could help you survive an avalanche but you will still require consistent praice to make sure you are ready for a real-life situation.

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10 Tips on surviving an approaching avalanche


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