Avalanche: Get the Picture

Before you go…

  1. Be avy aware

Get the training. An AIARE course will train you how to make decisions and manage avalanche hazards.

  1. Practice Rescue

Buy quality avalanche safety equipment. Know what it does for you and your partners. Practice…a lot.

++3. Always Carry:
  • Avalanche Transceiver – to locate burial site
  • Probe – to pinpoint the victim
  • Shovel – to extract the victim
  1. Plan to Avoid Today’s Danger

Every time you go out, read today’s local
avalanche forecast. Where are the dangerous
slopes? Confirm on a map, image or with terrain
you can preview what terrain you will avoid.

Five Red Flags

Recent avalanche activityRecent avalanche activity

is the indisputable sign of instability. If you see recent avalanche activity the snowpack is unstable.

cracksWhoomping or cracks

Cracks in the snow surface and/or “whoomping” sounds mean that a weak layer is collapsing and that the snowpack is unstable. This is a sure sign of instability; stay on low angle slopes.


Precipitation often increases the avalanche danger. The more snow that falls and the faster it falls the more apt it is to create dangerous conditions. And wet snow or rain falling on cold dry snow almost always causes avalanches.

Rapid temperature riseRapid temperature rise

If the temperature is rising; watch out! This rapid warming can transform fluffy powder into a dangerous slab. This newly formed slab can change stable powder conditions into unstable slab conditions in a very short time.


Wind creates dangerous slabs; if the wind is blowing or has blown recently it has probably created dangerous wind slabs and increased the avalanche danger.

Overview   |   Gear   |   Forecast   |   Training   |   Get the Picture

Project Zero