By John Moynier
Should you trip, ski, snowmobile, snowshoe, or mountaineer in a space the place there's lots of slope and many snow, then you definitely are uncovered to avalanche threat. In Avalanche conscious, veteran backcountry ski consultant and avalanche forecaster John Moynier deftly publications you thru the fundamentals of ways avalanches paintings, spotting avalanche terrain, and trying out the snow pack-before you enterprise onto volatile flooring. beneficial black-and-white illustrations of right apparatus, slope attitude, snow pit exams, and the consequences of wind and climate accompany his witty, informative reasons of the way to prevent avalanche probability. No booklet on avalanche security will be entire with out a description of seek tools within the occasion of an unforeseen slide, and Moynier's worthy factors of ways to head approximately discovering a misplaced pal offers you additional self belief in the event you take on the slopes. For really relaxing and profitable iciness expeditions, learn Avalanche conscious ahead of you head out and make it a part of the protection apparatus you hold within the box.
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Additional info for Avalanche Aware: Safe Travel in Avalanche Country
The key to determining avalanche hazard is to gather as many clues as you can, and then relate this information to your goals and objectives. You may decide that your goals are not worth the risks and choose to abandon the trip, re-evaluate and modify your goals, or find an alternate route. Of course, you might also decide that the rewards are worth the risk and go for it. The decision is up to you. Page 29 Trailhead Checklist Assess avalanche danger Choose a leader Determine group goals Agree on a rescue plan (see Avalanche Rescue, page 98) Practice a beacon search (see Search Methods, page 103) Tune your senses toward avalanche clues Physical Signs of Avalanche Hazard The most important sign of avalanche danger is the evidence of recent or past avalanches on similar slopes.
Page 57 Equi-Temperature (ET) Processes Following a storm, the new snow usually begins to undergo significant changes within the first few days, and the snowpack tends to stabilize. The pull of gravity on the individual crystals leads to an increase in the bonding between the crystals and an overall gain in the strength of the layer. Given moderately warm temperatures and stable weather conditions, the hazard of this layer becoming an avalanche decreases rapidly over time. In warmer climates, this may take only 24 to 48 hours, but in colder climates, this process is much slower, and the snowpack may take weeks to stabilize.
At these times, it is almost impossible to predict avalanche hazard, and it is best to wait in a safe location or abandon your tour. Temperature Gradient (TG) Processes When there is a shallow snowpack and cold temperatures, there is a good opportunity for a temperature gradient, or differential, to develop. , when a warm snowfall is followed by a very cold storm, or over the entire snowpack, when the ground remains close to freezing while the air temperature is much colder. A significant temperature gradient can quickly decrease the strength of a layer or the entire snowpack by breaking down the bonds between Page 62 individual crystals and between layers themselves.
Avalanche Aware: Safe Travel in Avalanche Country by John Moynier